New Health Care Legislation Includes Troubling Setbacks For Reproductive Rights

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

New Health Care Legislation Includes Troubling Setbacks For Reproductive Rights

WASHINGTON -
The
landmark health care legislation signed by President Obama today
includes troubling setbacks for women’s reproductive rights, said the
American Civil Liberties Union.
 
While
the bill signed by the president today contains positive changes to
health care policies that discriminate against women and provides women
with access to needed and often life-saving health care services, it
also restricts abortion coverage, creating hurdles for both the insurer
that wants to include abortion care in its health plan and the insured
who wants the coverage. The president, in a move meant to garner the
votes of Democrats who oppose abortion rights, also signed an Executive
Order today to ensure that current law prohibiting public funding of
abortion also applied to any subsidies used to purchase insurance in
the exchange.  
 
Today’s
law also revives federal funding for an abstinence-only-until-marriage
program that Congress correctly allowed to expire in 2008. The ACLU has
long opposed abstinence-only programs on the grounds that they censor
vital health information, promote gender stereotypes, discriminate
against gays and lesbians and sometimes use federal dollars to promote
one religious perspective.
 
The following can be attributed to Laura Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
 
“Unfortunately,
health care reform came at a very high price for women’s right to
reproductive health care. Providing health care to Americans should not
come at the expense of limits on constitutionally protected access to
abortion. Moreover, the law wastes millions of dollars by raising from
the dead a failed sexual education program –
abstinence-only-until-marriage – that thwarts healthy, more effective
and life-saving education that is greatly needed by our young people.
 
“The
ACLU looks forward to working with the president and Congress to amend
these troubling provisions and ensure that every woman retains the
ability to access truly comprehensive health care.”
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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