Abortion Rights Groups Unite In Fight Against Coverage Restrictions
Politico reports that abortion-rights "advocates are calling in the cavalry to help fight off an anti-abortion provision House Democratic leaders swallowed in order to win passage of their health care reform bill." Planned Parenthood on Tuesday brought 80 groups together to brainstorm about how to keep an abortion amendment out of a final health care reform bill. "If that doesn't work, Plan B is to rely on progressives in the House to vote against a bill containing the language" (Allen, 11/11).
A National Organization of Women official told ABC News that they were shocked by the amendment's inclusion in the House bill. The official added that the group was "extremely disappointed" in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for including it and that they will track a final vote on the measure to see who votes for it or against it (Klein, 11/11).
The Hill reports that some abortion-rights groups are threatening to withhold money from lawmakers who voted for the House amendment. Democratic "Reps. Ciro Rodriguez (of Texas) and Harry Teague (of New Mexico) - stood out as members of Congress who received NARAL's and Planned Parenthood's money last cycle and proceeded to vote for the (Rep. Bart) Stupak Amendment on Saturday" (Blake, 11/12).
The Associated Press reports that 90 abortion-rights supporting lawmakers are pressing to meet with President Obama next week on the provision in the House bill. "Leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus have written to Obama calling the provisions an unprecedented restriction of women's access to health insurance coverage for abortion services" (11/11).
And on the Senate side, CQ Politics reports that Majority Leader Harry Reid "probably will not include restrictions stringent enough to satisfy abortion opponents" in the overhaul measure he brings to the Senate floor. Though it's unclear if moderate Democrats will offer an abortion amendment, they expect a precursor of the Stupak Amendment - the Hyde Amendment that restricts federal dollars from being used to fund abortions - to be "replicated in the bill" (11/11).
Finally, USA Today has a Q&A on abortion's treatment in the House health care reform bill and answers what exactly it does and if the Senate bill will contain a similar provision. It also explains some of the history behind the ban (Hall, 11/12).
(Related KHN story: How The House Abortion Restrictions Would Work, Appleby, 11/10)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.