47,858 Pro-Choice Americans Sign Letter Oposing Obama Administration Policy on High-Risk Pools

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Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

47,858 Pro-Choice Americans Sign Letter Oposing Obama Administration Policy on High-Risk Pools

Pro-choice group sends names to HHS as comment period on temporary pools closes, cites how policy harms women with significant health problems

WASHINGTON - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that
her organization will send a letter signed by more than 47,000
individuals registering opposition to an Obama administration policy
excluding abortion coverage from temporary high-risk pools.

"The message from our members to the Obama administration is clear:
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," Keenan said.
"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. It is beyond disappointing that the administration would make a
decision that runs counter to the promise of improving health care in
our country."

The administration policy bans abortion services, with narrow
exceptions, in a newly created program for individuals with pre-existing
conditions or other high-risk medical needs. The 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. The Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) published the policy and opened a
public-comment period that's set to close on September 28. The text of
the collective comment sent to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius follows:

We oppose the administration's decision to exclude abortion
coverage for women who will be covered by 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 for the next three years, even if their
health is at further risk.

Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive. 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

- Signed by 47,858 pro-choice Americans

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."

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