Obama Administration Issues Rule Banning Abortion Coverage In High Risk Insurance Pools

July 29, 2010 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON –The Obama administration today issued a new interim rule excluding 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 will not be able to buy policies that cover abortion in these pools. The only exemptions will be for women who have been raped, who are the victims of incest or who will likely die if they carry a pregnancy to term. Under this new rule, women with serious health conditions such as heart disease may be forced to carry pregnancies to term despite serious harm to their health.

High-risk pools will exist until 2014 when the state exchanges become operational, as provided for in the Affordable Care Act. The pools will allow people with pre-existing conditions who have been denied coverage on the individual market to purchase health insurance. Women participating in high-risk insurance pools are especially vulnerable and may have a special need for abortion coverage.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:

“The Obama administration has put up an unnecessary barrier to comprehensive health care to the women who need it most by singling out abortion in these high-risk pools. Coming from a pro-choice administration, this is an unfortunate decision. The government should not make personal medical decisions for women; every woman should have the ability to decide what is right for her health and her family.”

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