ACLU Opposes Bill That Would Deny Insurance Coverage for Abortion Services

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 236-7031 or 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

ACLU Opposes Bill That Would Deny Insurance Coverage for Abortion Services

Proposed Legislation Would Take Away Existing Coverage for Women’s Health and Impose Discriminatory Tax Burdens

WASHINGTON - A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives today that would
make permanent policies that deny abortion coverage to women who depend
on the federal government for their health care and extend these unjust
prohibitions into the private sector. The bill, introduced by Rep. Chris
Smith (R-NJ), would effectively eliminate insurance coverage for
abortion. Currently, more than 80 percent of insurance plans offer
abortion coverage.

The
American Civil Liberties Union denounced the bill, which would increase
the tax liability of millions of Americans and penalize businesses that
seek to offer insurance plans that cover abortion along with other
pregnancy-related care, reducing the likelihood that insurance companies
would provide coverage for abortion.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"This
bill is an insidious and unprecedented attempt to destroy the insurance
market for abortion and deny access to basic health care for women.
Instead of ensuring that everyone can get the health care they need, the
Smith insurance ban would permanently deny abortion coverage to women
who rely on the government for their health care and take away coverage
that already exists for most Americans. Congress should not deny women
access to legal medical services. We will work to ensure that this bill
is defeated."

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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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