Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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Pro-Choice Members Ask White House To Protect Women's Rights

Nov 10, 2009
Press Release
Stupak-Pitts Amendment Effectively Bans Abortion Coverage in All Plans in the Exchange, including the Public Health Insurance Options and All Private Health Insurance Plans

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado and U.S. Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a meeting to discuss reproductive health in health care reform and ensure the rights of all women are protected. The letter is signed by a total of 90 Pro-Choice Members of Congress and seeks a meeting with President Obama at the earliest possible date. The letter grew out of concern that the Sunday morning House vote on the health care reform bill will significantly erode the reproductive rights of women.

The members write:

“Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women’s access to reproductive health services. The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented restriction on a women’s access to health insurance coverage of reproductive health services.” 

The underlying health care bill, H.R. 3962, already includes compromise language, the Capps Amendment, that applies the Hyde amendment so that it has the same effect as it currently does in Medicaid.   The health insurance Exchange is not comparable to Medicaid.  This is fundamentally a private health care system whereby individuals will be purchasing plans from private insurance companies, in large part with their own money. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment dramatically changes federal policies related to abortion coverage and undermines the principle of abortion neutrality in health care reform.

Click here to read the full letter

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