The Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the recently passed House of Representatives health care reform bill denies health insurance coverage of abortion for women subscribing to a “public option” plan or receiving federal subsidies to buy mandated health insurance.
So, in effect, the reproductive rights of all women in America could be dropped from health insurance coverage. Here’s the analysis from Planned Parenthood legal experts:
Thus, if a plan wants to offer coverage in the exchange to both groups of individuals, it would have to offer two different plans: one with abortion coverage for women without subsidies and one without abortion coverage for women with subsidies. These private insurance plans would need to be identified as either providing or not providing coverage for abortion.
Health insurance plans are highly unlikely to operate in this manner, and it is not even clear that this is feasible under the administration of the exchange and affordability credits. As one alternative, the Stupak amendment purports to allow women to purchase a separate, single-service “abortion rider,” but abortion riders don’t exist. In the five states that only allow abortion coverage through a separate rider, there is no evidence that they are available.
Furthermore, women are unlikely to think ahead to choose a plan that includes abortion coverage, since they do not plan for unplanned pregnancy. In addition, it is not clear that health plans would even be allowed to offer two separate plans under other provisions of the act, such as the anti-discrimination and guaranteed-issue provisions. Those elements of the bill, which are very important to consumers, may make it impossible for plans to provide two separate plans, one that includes abortion and another that does not.
Realistically, the actual effect of the Stupak-Pitts amendment is to ban abortion coverage across the entire exchange, for women with both subsidized and unsubsidized coverage.
Link via Mikhaela.
The U.S. Supreme Court may uphold a woman’s right to a medical procedure on her own body, but the House health care plan doesn’t care. And what is the justification for that? Why are women’s reproductive rights expendable? Reach back into the lizard brain of patriarchy and you dredge up the assumption that only “sluts” need abortions. Only women who are irresponsible with their bodies need to resort to “baby killing”, so of course it is right for men to make their reproductive decisions for them. Really, without this underlying patronizing attitude, it’s hard to think of any other reason to deny women access to legal medical treatment that so fundamentally affects their bodies.
Anyway, you can always nag Obama to oppose this, like I did (and he does, anyway, for what that’s worth on its own) or you can take Kate Harding’s advice: tell the Democrats to go fuck themselves. Or something like that. Sounds good to me!