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Letter to the editor

Reproductive health important in reform

December 3, 2009

The Senate will soon begin debating their version of health care reform. This is our opportunity to ensure the needs of women and young people continue to be front and center in the reform debate.

In the House, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment passed last minute in the House version of health care reform. It bars not only federal insurance from covering abortion, but private insurers as well. If language like Stupak’s makes it into the Senate Bill, abortion will become an out-of-pocket expense, the only legal procedure to have this sort of restriction on it. Rent, utilities, tuition and basic insurance premiums are already too difficult for working people and students to juggle.

Paying out of pocket for healthcare that was promised as part of reform is unfair. So what can we do about it?

Join students, community members, activists and everyday people from around the United States this week and make a call to congress! Call 1-888-423-5983 and ask to talk to Senator Feingold’s and

Senator Kohl’s office. Step one, ask your senators to keep an anti-choice amendment like Stupak’s from ending up in their Bill. Step two? Remind your senator to strike down the Hatch Amendment. Our legislators need to know we’re still watching.

Health care reform promises to bring better care to all Americans. Let’s let Congress know we will not sit idly by and let women and young people be sacrificed in the name of compromise,
votes, deadlines and budgets. We need to stand up and make sure what we deserve, access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care and information, is included in the Senate bill!
Our senators say they want to hear from us, so let’s give them something to talk about!

Nikki Shonoiki,
student and activist

Comments

Dan on 03 Dec 2009: Nikki, what you don't not point out is: 1) Abortions in America will still be relatively inexpensive even with the Stupak Amendment. - People will just have to pay for it themselves instead of relying on the taxpayers. 2) The health care reform bill has the potential to already double Planned Parenthood's budget. 3) Planned Parenthood is the number one cause of death of African Americans each year via the abortions they provide. 4) The Stupak Amendment is only necessary because the language in the bill would allow Federal Taxes to pay for abortions for the first time in over 30 years. The bills authors just got caught speeding... 5) If you are worried about the cost, try adoption. Thousands of couples are waiting 2 - 7 years and the adoption agency will pay all the medical expenses. A true Win/Win/win solution...