July 15, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration announced today that it intends to exclude abortion coverage from the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans, or high-risk insurance pools, created by the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Even using their own private funds, individuals would not be able to buy policies that cover abortion in these pools. The only exemptions would reportedly be for women who have been raped, who are the victims of incest or who will likely die if they carry the pregnancy to term.
The high-risk pools were created as a temporary program until the government can fully implement the Affordable Care Act and are made up of those who cannot purchase private insurance due to pre-existing health conditions, including cancer and heart disease. Women participating in high-risk insurance pools are especially vulnerable and may have a special need for abortion coverage. For example, under the ban a woman with heart disease or diabetes might be compelled to carry a pregnancy to term despite its potentially damaging effect on her future health.
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
“Everyone’s circumstances and health care needs are different. And every woman should be able to decide what is best for her health and her family. By unnecessarily singling out abortion in the high-risk pools, the Obama administration is creating a needless barrier to comprehensive health care for the women who need it most. Health care reform should improve women's health and lives, not interfere with women’s decisions about the health care they need.”