REP. ENGEL – HIGH RISK POOL ABORTION EXCLUSION IS UNACCEPTABLE
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) strongly disagreed with the decision to exclude abortion coverage from the new high-risk insurance pools. In effect, the policy decision will adversely affect middle class women, especially those with serious medical conditions.
â€œI strongly believe that the United States government should not be in the business of restricting rights and preventing people from medical treatment. The government should not be using the lives of low-income and middle-income women as a political football any longer.
â€œFighting constantly to allow women to maintain their right to choose is difficult enough when we are battling the Republicans in Congress or the conservative tilt of the Supreme Court, we donâ€™t need to have it come from our allies. Women who will be in the high risk pools â€“ temporary coverage through 2014 for those who cannot afford insurance due to serious health problems â€“ are oftentimes going to be women whose lives and health will be at extreme risk from an unwanted pregnancy.
â€œThis order prevents women from spending their own money on coverage. This Executive Order essentially makes the Stupak Amendment the law of the land. States will be stripped of the option to cover these situations. Planned Parenthood has called this rule â€œharmful to womenâ€ and they are absolutely correct. This is simply unacceptable.
“No one anticipates having an abortion and so it’s both insulting, and an invasion of privacy to single out this one procedure. I will continue, as my 21-year 100% pro-choice record shows, to fight for a womanâ€™s right to choose.â€
The Stupak-Pitts amendment to the House-passed Affordable Health Care for America Act states that anyone who receives limited tax credit assistance to purchase mandated health insurance, may not access a plan that covers abortion, and should instead purchase stand-alone abortion coverage. The final law did not contain this amendment, instead including a lesser Senate-passed version. The health insurance reform law had already prohibited federal funds from being used for abortion before any amendments were added.
Click Below to read NYS Senator Liz Krueger’s letter to President Obama.