Sen. Orrin Hatch Trades Credibility for Anti-Abortion Politics

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Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

Sen. Orrin Hatch Trades Credibility for Anti-Abortion Politics

Utah senator files amendment to Korean trade agreement that could threaten Medicaid funding for American hospitals

WASHINGTON - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called on members of the Senate Finance Committee to keep anti-abortion politics out of the debate over a Korean trade agreement by rejecting a far-reaching anti-choice amendment offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Sen. Hatch’s amendment, which the committee is expected to consider this afternoon, would disqualify any health organization that provides abortion services from the Medicaid family-planning program— even hospitals that provide emergency life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it.

“Sen. Hatch is always in the running for the award of Most Notorious Anti-Choice Politician, but with this latest stunt, he’s in a league of his own when it comes to being out of touch with our country’s values and priorities,” Keenan said. “Sen. Hatch wants to tell a hospital that providing life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it will render it ineligible for the Medicaid family-planning program. This latest attack underscores just how obsessed politicians like Sen. Hatch are when it comes to attacking women’s freedom and privacy. Not even a trade agreement is immune from Hatch’s relentless and mean-spirited anti-choice extremism.”

Sen. Hatch’s amendment is the latest example of just how far politicians are willing to go to move an anti-choice agenda. Two weeks ago today, the House adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to the agriculture-spending bill to bar discussion of abortion on the nation’s telecommunications network, which includes the Internet and videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option. In addition, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened an anti-choice amendment to a non-choice-related bill in the Judiciary Committee.

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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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