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October 1, 2002


Communications Department

Despite Numerous Objections from Wide Range of Women's Health Organizations, Administration Enacts Plan to Extend CHIP Coverage to Fetuses

Policy Change Does Not Protect Women's Health, But Could Threaten Foundation Of Roe v. Wade

Washington, DC - Today the National Abortion Federation (NAF) expressed its disappointment that, despite numerous comments received from individuals and organizations opposing this regulation, the Department of Health and Human Services will still implement its proposed rule to extend the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) to cover fetuses while ignoring the health needs of pregnant women. The regulation will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow and the policy change will be enacted in thirty days. "While we unequivocally support expanding prenatal coverage to more low-income women," said Vicki Saporta, NAF's President and CEO, "this is not the way to accomplish that goal. We vigorously oppose the Administration's stealth policy that is being enacted under the guise of protecting women's health while threatening the very foundation of Roe v. Wade."

"If the Administration truly wants to ensure that more pregnant women are able to obtain and afford prenatal care, then they should increase funding and encourage states to obtain waivers for insuring pregnant women through CHIP," stated Saporta. "This policy does not provide additional or increased funding to cover prenatal care. States can - and do - currently obtain waivers through the federal government which allow pregnant women to be covered under CHIP. Three states - Rhode Island, New Jersey and, most recently, Colorado - have already obtained such waivers."

"It is reprehensible that in spite of the numerous and overarching comments they received opposing this policy, the Administration continued to push through its anti-choice agenda at the expense of women and their families," concluded Saporta.

For a copy of the comments NAF sent to the Department of Health and Human Services opposing the regulation change, please contact NAF at 202-667-5881.


The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible.

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