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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

Senate Manager's Amendment Imposes Unacceptable Restrictions on Abortion Coverage

Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) in response to new abortion restrictions in the Senate health care bill:

This latest attack on women's access to abortion care is an unacceptable addition to the health care reform bill. Throughout the entire health care reform debate, anti-choice forces have tried to use women's reproductive health as a pawn, and we cannot support any bill that imposes further restrictions on women's access to abortion care.

The Nelson language in the manager's amendment places an unreasonable burden on women by mandating that they take unnecessary steps in paying for abortion coverage. The new restrictions would require women or their employers to write two checks every month for any plan that covers abortion care: one check to cover the cost of abortion care coverage and a second check for the rest of their premium. This system would also establish administrative barriers to insurance companies providing abortion care coverage. The likely result is that such coverage would be unavailable for many women.

These restrictions are a transparent attempt to limit access to abortion care, and do not serve policy objectives. The Senate bill already contained a compromise that ensured no federal money would be used to provide abortion care coverage.

Abortion care is basic health care for women and should not be singled out and treated differently from any other health service. We will continue our work to ensure that such abortion restrictions are removed from the health care reform bill in conference.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org.

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