For Immediate Release
Ted Miller, 202.973.3032
House Leadership Puts Anti-Choice Attacks Ahead of Jobs and the Economy
“Stupak on Steroids” proposal gets top billing, one day after House votes to repeal health-reform law
WASHINGTON - Today, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said
House leadership confirmed that attacking a woman's right to choose will
be a top priority in the new Congress. The proposed "Stupak on
Steroids" bill received the designation H.R.3, signaling its importance
to the anti-choice leadership.
"The news today is from Capitol Hill, but it might as well have come
from another planet," Keenan said. "As candidates, these lawmakers told
voters they wanted to focus on creating jobs while limiting the role of
government in our lives. Now, as these politicians take control of the
House, they want to be able to interfere in our personal, private
decisions, especially a woman's right to choose. They are out of touch
with our country's values and priorities. What happened to the jobs
agenda? How many people will be employed as part of their campaign to
attack a woman's right to choose?"
The politicians who "headlined" the event where the bill was
introduced came from both political parties, including Rep. Dan
Lipinski, an Illinois Democrat, and Republican Reps. Chris Smith of New
Jersey and Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania. Pitts was hand-picked by
anti-choice groups to serve as chair of the Energy and Commerce health
subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over many programs important to
Keenan said H.R.3, introduced by Rep. Smith, if identical to last
summer's version, is even worse than the original Stupak ban on abortion
coverage that was rejected during the debate on health reform. Keenan
said Smith's far-reaching bill would undermine women's freedom and
privacy in a number of ways:
- It would ban coverage of abortion in the new health-care system and
impose tax penalties on Americans with private insurance plans that
include abortion coverage. Currently, 87 percent of private plans
currently include such coverage.
- It would narrow the already severely limited rape and incest
exceptions in the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding for
abortion care. This new restriction would deny Medicaid coverage for
abortion to survivors of statutory rape and any incest survivor who is
18 years of age or older
- It would reimpose the ban on Washington, D.C.'s use of its own local
funds for abortion for low-income women, an unfair restriction which
Congress lifted in 2009, and a move that President Obama supported.
- It would recodify the ban on abortion care for women in the
military, denying them access to abortion care at overseas military
hospitals, even if they pay for the service with their own money.
Keenan also said that Speaker John Boehner and his top lieutenants
cosponsored "Stupak on Steroids" in the previous Congress. Boehner's
"Pillars of a New Majority," a compilation of five speeches that outline
his vision for the country, includes a speech before the National Right
to Life Committee in which he praises the legislation.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
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."