Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Abortion Rights Advocates "Outraged" at Obama White House Over Health Coverage

3 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
A leading abortion rights group called on its members Sunday to pressure the White House to reverse course and make sure abortion coverage is included when new insurance coverage becomes available under the health care law President Obama signed last March.
"To our dismay, the Obama administration just announced it will exclude abortion coverage in the temporary health-insurance pools that will transition us into the new health-care system," wrote Nancy Keenan, who is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"I am outraged that such a decision would come from a pro-choice president that we helped elect," Keenan said.
NARAL Pro-Choice America spokesman Ted Miller told Politics Daily that so far, the group has "channeled more than 30,000 messages to the White House," and will roll out more initiatives to drum up public pressure on the issue in the week ahead.
Nancy KeenanWhen the debate over the massive health care overhaul was in its final stages -- and Democrats were seeking to round up crucial votes -- the always contentious issue of abortion dominated the conversation due to the strong anti-abortion stance taken by Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan.
On March 24, the day after the bill was signed into law, Obama issued an executive order affirming that the new health care law would continue to ban any federal money for abortions. The executive order was part of a deal with House anti-abortion Democrats whose votes were needed for the bill to pass the bill.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the states are in the process of writing regulations and developing plans to implement the new law.
Anti-abortion forces are worried that loopholes will be inserted in the regulations regarding abortion while abortion rights advocates, such as Keenan, are "outraged" that abortion coverage is banned under the newly-created "Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan," which is meant to assist those who can't get or afford private health insurance.
Last Tuesday, the National Right to Life Committee, a leading anti-abortion organization, issued a statement asserting that HHS "quietly approved a plan" submitted by Gov. Ed Rendell for Pennsylvania to "to set up a new "high-risk" insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March "that will cover any abortion that is legal" in the state.

On Wednesday as this latest debate started, HHS spokesman Jenny Backus reaffirmed abortion coverage is not part of the new "Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan policy." She said, in a statement, that under the new health law as well as Obama's executive order, abortions will not be covered "in Pennsylvania and in all other states ... except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered."

Planned Parenthood said in a statement
, "The Obama administration has decided that no woman in the new high-risk insurance pools will be allowed to obtain abortion coverage beyond limited cases (rape, incest, endangering the life of the woman). The high-risk insurance pools are for some of the most medically vulnerable women in the country -- those with pre-existing conditions such as breast and ovarian cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and other conditions that may make pregnancy extraordinarily dangerous. These women will be locked out from abortion coverage, even if they pay for it out of their own pockets."

Keenan said in her Sunday e-mail that "a Stupak-style ban applies to women in new, temporary high-risk pools ... This policy means that women who are part of these pools because they have significant health problems, such as diabetes or cancer, will not be able to access abortion care, even if their health is at further risk."

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

97 Comments

Filter by:
rural70

Take it to court!! This is clearly supporting a religious view that abortion is a sin, and the government is clearly promoting a religious belief. By the way, abortion is so unimportant, it is not even mentioned in the Bible. What Genesis does say is that when Adam was fully formed, God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Fake Fundamentalists can take some obscure verse and twist it however they want, but the Bible teaches that it is only after taking that first breath after birth, that one becomes a human.

August 02 2010 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kdegidon

This story, unknown to many people, may prove to be the falling of the Berlin Wall of the culture wars.

July 20 2010 at 4:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
punnster

This is a smoke screen. Abortion will still be "on the table."

July 20 2010 at 2:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Andy

I back President Obama on this.I am so relived to know he is taking this corse of action. I voted for him, but amost changed my mind due to his view on abortion. The rupublicans stand is they are against abortion,but they had the power for eight years ,and did nothing to change it.Horay! for the president!!!

July 19 2010 at 5:43 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Terry

As usual, the group that wants to control a woman's body goes nutso at any mention someone might actually be able to control their own body. If they would read the article, it is not about government funded abortions, although they ought to, it is about even being able to pay for a rider on their policy themselves for abortions. A direct quote from the article they didn't bother to read before going ballastic over nothing...." These women will be locked out from abortion coverage, even if they pay for it out of their own pockets."

July 19 2010 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Terry's comment
Jim

Terry, a woman can still get an abortion by paying out of pocket, i.e. self insured.

July 20 2010 at 8:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
charpist5

I personally am offended by people who think abortions should be covered. Actually, I am totally offended by the very IDEA of Obamacare. It has already cost me my some-what decent health insurance. In January, my rates went up 40% (THANK you, ANTHEM in Colorado.) They told me this was a DIRECT result of the coming Obamacare. I could not afford the premiums so I had to switch to lower premiums and even worse coverage. But I digress. Here's a thought. PARENTS, teach your KIDS. KIDS, sex is NOT for children, or even teenagers in most cases. Sex is NOT the most important activity in life, even though our culture seems to think it is. Abstinence (i.e. SELF CONTROL, something that is sadly lacking in our society these days) means FAR LESS poor, unwanted little babies.

July 19 2010 at 11:54 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
She

Would'nt these high risk cases be considered endangering the health of the mother and therefore be covered under said insurance? Is it just me or does it seem like thats what it said previously?

July 19 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to She's comment
She

Pregnancy always puts the mothers life at risk. Some cases are higher risk than others.. but whenever you undertake a pregnancy there exists the inherent risk of complications that could endanger the life of the mother. Thats one of the drawbacks of being pregnant. I do not think any woman should be forced into that under any legal precedent.. I also think that this legal giberish is unnecessary because pregnancy has inherent risk.. so it's kinda arguing over nothing.. a bunch of hot air as it were.

July 19 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
norfwest

HCR was not about abortion. Stupak was wrong for making a non-issue an issue. The Hyde Amendment would have done what it has been doing for nearly 30 years: Prohibiting federal money from being used to fund abortions. There was no need for an EO to be signed.

July 19 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sdwants

Ita crime and you should be ashamed t hat you have gotten so politically correct that only opinions that go along with your story in a more than favorable way are the only ones seen..Someone should take you to task on that

July 19 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diva Goddess

I am pro-choice, but do not think it is fair to mandate that those who do not believe in abortion to pay for the choices of others - whether that choice was stupid (having unprotected sex) or unplanned (contraceptive failed). If someone wants to pay for the abortions of others, perhaps those who cannot afford it, donate to an organization.

July 19 2010 at 11:16 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>