The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

House Resumes War on Women

As committee advances “Stupak on Steroids” bill, NARAL Pro-Choice America reports surge in pro-choice activism


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the Judiciary Committee's vote to advance H.R.3, the "Stupak on Steroids" legislation, another front in the anti-choice House leadership's War on Women.

"Less than two weeks ago, the House leadership launched a full-scale assault on women's access to birth control, cancer screenings, Pap smears, and other basic health care," Keenan said. "Now, they are waging a war on women in the private insurance market. This bill jeopardizes the ability of insurance companies to cover abortion care, even for women with wanted pregnancies who experience unanticipated health-related complications, such as breast cancer. Abortion may be the best option to protect their health and ensure they can have children in the future, yet this bill tells insurance companies they can't cover this care."

The anti-choice House leadership came under intense public scrutiny when an earlier version of H.R.3 tried to redefine rape. While lawmakers caved to public pressure on that issue, Keenan said that the bill remains a huge affront to women. Among many egregious provisions, H.R.3 would effectively block private-insurance plans from covering abortion care in the new health-care system and impose tax penalties on small-business owners and certain other individuals who purchase private-insurance plans that cover abortion. Currently, 87 percent of private plans cover abortion care. Anti-choice committee members even rejected all attempts to moderate some of these extreme measures.

Keenan said public outrage over the attacks on women's freedom and privacy is strengthening the resolve of existing activists and spurring more people to join the pro-choice cause.

"In the last two weeks, our activist list has grown by a rate of 1,000 people a day," Keenan said. "Women and men of all ages and backgrounds are standing up to this War on Women. Even though the climate is tough on Capitol Hill, we are inspired and energized as we see Americans in communities across this country speaking out against this extreme agenda. We will continue to build on this momentum, especially in the districts of lawmakers who are voting to wage this War on Women."

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.