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President Obama: Women Stood for You. Stand With Us and Remove Abortion Restrictions From Your Budget

12:43 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Ashley Hartman for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

This election, I was proud to work with many young people to engage our communities and campuses in the issues that impact us. One issue that engaged many young women in the election work I did this year in Ohio was access to health care, especially pregnancy related services, such as pre- and post-natal care, maternity care, and abortion care. Sixty-five percent of 18-to-24 year-olds believe abortion should be legal all or most of the time, which is higher than any other age group. I am lucky to have employer-funded health insurance that allows me to access a full range of preventive services, including all pregnancy-related services.

Sadly, not all women — even women with insurance — have access to these services. Current law unfairly limits insurance coverage for abortion for women with government-funded insurance. This is because federal dollars are withheld from covering a woman’s abortion except in limited circumstance.

It seems unfair to withhold insurance coverage or try to influence a woman’s decisions about whether to end a pregnancy just because of the type of insurance she has. These are decisions best made by a woman, her family, faith and doctor, not politicians.

These laws also put the lives of women at risk. When a woman is pregnant, it is important that she has access to safe medical care. Providing insurance coverage insures she will be able to see a licensed, quality health care provider.

Even if we don’t personally agree with abortion, it is unfair to restrict insurance coverage, or try to influence a woman’s decision about whether to end a pregnancy, just because she has government-funded health insurance.

I care about women in Ohio, which is why I supported Barack Obama. He pledged to ensure all women have access to essential reproductive health care services.

Women and youth voters played a huge impact in Obama’s win this year. Not only did young people, 18-to-24 turn out for the president in 2008, they continued to turn out for him as they entered their late twenties. This demonstrates how important issues such as insurance coverage for abortion are to this generation.

Now my generation must hold Obama accountable to his commitments. That includes urging President Obama to submit a budget to Congress without unfair restrictions on coverage for abortion care. Obama Administration, take note that women will be watching to see if you live up to your commitments to women’s health care.

Mainstream Media Reinforces Unexamined Arguments Against Public Funding for Abortion

10:27 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Will abortion be the magic bullet that kills off health care reform? Certainly it seems that mainstream media sources—the same ones that are pushing the idea that health care reform is dead, in a classic “tell a lie until it’s true” maneuver—believe that abortion is an effective cudgel to beat health care reform to death. (Why there’s strong motivation to kill health care reform is a topic for another day—my pet theory is that many pundits are angry with Democrats for making them cover complicated policy issues, when they’d rather be talking about what Sonia Sotomayor is wearing and whether or not Regina Benjamin is too fat.)

Sunday afternoon, I plugged the word “abortion” into Google News to see what I got back. Just the word “abortion”, with no other terms like “health care”, and the first hit was 13,000 stories about abortion and health care reform. And sadly, there was rampant disregard, and in some cases, open contempt for the truth of the situation.

Here’s the unvarnished truth: There is no way that any kind of public health care plan will have elective abortion coverage. Nor is there any real chance of abortion becoming mandated coverage. It’s more likely that breast implants will be paid for by tax money. It’s more likely that a public insurance option will provide everyone with an iPod Touch. Believe me; even most pro-choicers gave up a long time ago on hoping that we could overturn the Hyde Amendment that bans women who are on federally funded insurance programs from getting elective abortions covered, and there’s no way that this will change if the number of women on federally funded health insurance grows. And even though it would only be Read the rest of this entry →