Rep. Janice Schakowsky of Illinois stood in the floor of the House of Representatives this evening to speak against the health care bill amendment offered by fellow Democrat Bart Stupak of Illinois. Under this amendment, as Schakowsky explains, even women who are NOT national health care plan participants — women who are paying for their health insurance out of their own pocket — would be forbidden from getting insurance coverage for abortions if the plan they happen to pay for also is a plan that participates in the new national health care system.
This Stupak-Pitts Amendment goes way beyond current law. It says a woman cannot purchase coverage that includes abortion services using her own dollars — even middle-class women using exclusively their own money will be prohibited from purchasing a plan including abortion coverage in every single public or private insurance plan in the new Health Care Exchange.
Her only option is to buy a seperate insurance policy that covers an abortion — a ridiculous and unworkable approach since no woman plans an unplanned pregnancy.
This amendment is a radical departure from current law that will result in million of women losing the coverage they already have. Our bill is about lowering health care costs for millions of women and their families, not for further marginalizing women by forcing them to pay more for their care. This amendment is a disservice and an insult to millions of women throughout the country, and I urge a NO vote on this amendment.