The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312;

Senate Defeats Amendment Restricting Women's Access To Abortion


Senate voted today to table, thus defeating, an amendment to the Senate
health care reform bill that would have imposed severe restrictions on
women's access to abortion. The amendment, introduced by Senators Ben
Nelson (D-NE) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would have denied women who
receive any federal health care subsidy from purchasing an
insurance plan on the exchange that covers abortion care even if the
premium is largely paid for with private dollars. The American Civil
Liberties Union hailed the Senate vote as a victory for women's rights
and ability to make private health care decisions without government

similar amendment, the Stupak-Pitts amendment, passed in the House last
month. Earlier this month, the ACLU helped bring more than 1300
advocates from 30 states to Washington, D.C. to implore Congress to
keep the abortion coverage ban out of health care reform legislation.
With today's vote and President Obama signaling that he does not
support the Stupak-Pitts language, advocates are hopeful that those
abortion restrictions will not be made a part of the final legislation.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
"Today, the Senate voted down a truly cynical and backward amendment.
The Nelson-Hatch amendment, like the Stupak-Pitts amendment, was a
direct attack on a woman's right to make private health care decisions.
The Senate clearly understands that abortion is a part of basic health
care for women and that true health care reform will not live up to its
name if it fails to protect a woman's right to access comprehensive
care. Health care reform should improve women's health and lives, not
interfere with their right to get the health care they need. We urge
the conference committee to follow the Senate's lead and keep this
abortion coverage ban out of the final health care bill."

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.

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