For Immediate Release
NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on Health Reform
WASHINGTON - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued the following statement regarding health-care reform legislation.
"President Obama's speech today reaffirmed the urgent need to make
health care more accessible and affordable. We commend his leadership
on this issue and will continue to work with the president, our allies
in Congress, and other progressive partners in making this critical
change a reality.
"We also acknowledge that we face significant challenges. Since the
health-reform process began, we have fought against anti-choice
lawmakers' attempts to use this historic legislation to launch attacks
on a woman's right to choose. The House and Senate bills both include
unacceptable provisions, offered by anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak
(D-Mich.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), respectively. Both measures
violate a standard on which we've been consistent and clear since this
process started: Women should not lose ground in the new health-care
Both provisions jeopardize private insurance coverage for
abortion, coverage that 85 percent of private insurers currently
"The Stupak and Nelson measures are outrageous, but the
health-reform bills do have many positive provisions. They will
significantly improve women's access to other reproductive-health
services, including family planning and prenatal care. However, this
progress can be made without undermining women's access to abortion
coverage. That's why, at this critical juncture in the debate, NARAL
Pro-Choice America activists are taking action to support our
congressional allies who are standing up to these attacks. In addition,
we are contacting members of the House who supported anti-choice
provisions in the past and are urging them to change their position. It
is past time for lawmakers to stop using women's reproductive rights as
a bargaining chip in health reform."
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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."