By: Advocates for Youth, Center for American Progress, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 - Advocates for Youth, the Center for American Progress and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health were pleased to join a diverse group of 70 additional organizations asking President Obama to omit all restrictions on coverage and funding for abortion services from the president's proposed FY 2014 Budget when he submits it to Congress. The organizations, representing health care providers, youth, people of color, faith communities, reproductive health advocates and others, believe that every woman – whether she has public or private health insurance – should have access to abortion coverage so that she can make personal health decisions based on what is best for her and her family.
"The amount of money a woman has or doesn't have should not prohibit her from having an abortion when she needs one," said Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. "A woman's personal decisions about her health shouldn't be made by politicians–but for too many Latinas and other women without insurance coverage, that's exactly what happens."
Federal lawmakers currently impose unfair limitations on coverage of abortion in the annual federal budget laws. These bans withhold coverage for the cost of abortion for women who get their health coverage through the US government, including Medicaid-eligible women and Medicare beneficiaries; Federal employees and their dependents; Peace Corps volunteers; Native American women; women in federal prisons and detention centers, including those detained for immigration purposes; and low-income women in the District of Columbia.
Jessica Arons, Director of the Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress said, "President Obama had to compromise on abortion coverage during health reform in order to pass the Affordable Care Act and make health care affordable for all Americans. But that doesn't mean abortion coverage should always be restricted. Every year, politicians use our nation's budget process to deny federal health coverage for abortion care. This year, we urge President Obama to send a message to Congress: stop treating women's personal health decisions as a political football."
"These coverage restrictions fall hardest on low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, and young women," said Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth. "When a woman cannot afford safe abortion care, the impact on her and her family can be far reaching. We can't afford to play politics with women's health care or their lives."
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