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CONTACT: NARAL Pro-Choice America
Ted Miller, 202.973.3032
Statement on Obama Administration Policy Excluding Abortion Coverage from High-Risk Pools
WASHINGTON - July 15 - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the Obama administration's decision today to exclude abortion coverage from newly created high-risk pools wrongheaded and inexplicable.
"Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive," Keenan said. "At a time when the country is on the cusp of implementing nationwide health-insurance coverage, it is unacceptable to treat abortion care differently in the new 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. This decision puts in place a three-year restriction that is similar to the proposal from Rep. Bart Stupak that was rejected during the legislative debate on health reform."
The policy, while not yet public, reportedly bans abortion services in a newly created program for individuals with pre-existing conditions or other high-risk medical needs (with the exceptions of life, rape, and incest). The high-risk pools are designed to be a transitional program as the federal government works to create the health-insurance exchanges set to take effect in 2014.