The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312;

ACLU Joins Crucial Lobby Effort to Protect Women's Right to Comprehensive Health Care


the Senate debates health care reform, hundreds of Americans joined the
American Civil Liberties Union and progressive and women's rights
groups today to ask Congress to protect women's access to abortion
care. Last month, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable
Health Care for America Act and adopted an abortion coverage ban
offered by Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA).

Stupak-Pitts amendment jeopardizes the abortion coverage that millions
of women currently have. Encouragingly, the amendment was not included
in the base Senate bill and President Obama has signaled he does not
support the language. Today's lobby day is a part of the National Week
of Action to stop the Stupak-Pitts amendment and is aimed at preventing
a similar measure from being added to the Senate bill or in the final
health care legislation. The ACLU's Executive Director, Anthony D.
Romero, addressed participants this morning.

The following can be attributed to Romero:

"Today, Americans stand face to face with their lawmakers, demanding
that they protect a woman's ability to make private health care
decisions without government interference. It is up to the Senate to
ensure that the Stupak-Pitts amendment goes no further. True health
care reform will not live up to its name if it fails to protect a
woman's right to access comprehensive care.

is part of basic health care for women. We may not all feel the same
way about abortion but we should respect and support a woman's
decision. A woman facing an unintended pregnancy should be able to
decide what is best for her health and her family. The Stupak-Pitts
amendment puts politics before a woman's health choices.

Senate must keep the Stupak-Pitts amendment out of its health care
legislation and, when the time comes to merge the House and Senate
bills, this toxic language should be omitted from the final measure.
Health care reform should improve women's health and lives, not
interfere with their right to get the health care they need."

To read more about the ACLU's work on reproductive freedom, go to:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666