By Joe Davidson
“D.J. Feldman was 11 weeks pregnant last year when she learned that her child had anencephaly, a fetal defect that left the baby with almost no brain. It is always fatal.
Feldman, a 41-year-old federal lawyer, and her husband had been trying for two years to have a baby. Sadly, her doctor ‘made it very clear I wasn’t to continue this pregnancy,’ she said.
An abortion was medically necessary. She had little choice.
But after the jolt of the diagnosis and the emotional pain of the procedure, Feldman was in for another shock — sticker shock. She thought her health insurance policy through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) would cover the $9,000 cost of the abortion. It didn’t.
‘People don’t want their tax dollars to pay for abortion,’ Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said in an interview, citing a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showing that 61 percent of those surveyed support a ban against using public subsidies for abortion coverage. ‘Many pro-choice members [of Congress] support no tax dollars for abortion,’ he added.
With Democrats running the White House and Congress, abortion rights advocates thought that now would be the time to change the law. ‘This has been the first time in eight years to have the punishing restrictions removed from federal employees,’ said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.”