House Healthcare Abortion Ban Would be Widespread

Stupak-Pitts Amendment would be far-reaching.

By + More

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

There's been a ton of web chatter on the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the House version of healthcare reform. I'm sure you know what it is by now—it's an amendment that would essentially bar private insurers from participating in the so-called public option if they provide coverage for private abortions at all.

Right now federal law bars federal taxpayers' dollars from being spent to cover the cost of abortion for poor women. That's one thing. This would allow government policy to intervene in the most private of medical decisions made by women and their private insurance companies. It's a privacy invasion of massive proportions.

I've heard women respond to that by saying that only roughly 50 percent of insurance plans now cover abortions, and fewer than 20 percent of women who get abortions apply for reimbursement under their health insurance plans. So what? It's still government invasion of a woman's right to determine her own use of health insurance she pays for out of her own pocket.

Now the George Washington University's School of Public Health has released an analysis of the amendment, which says in part:

In view of how the health benefit services industry operates and how insurance product design responds to broad regulatory intervention aimed at reshaping product content, we conclude that the treatment exclusions required under the Stupak/Pitts Amendment will have an industry-wide effect, eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange.

Who's going to be hit hardest? Poor women, that's who. These are the women who are least able to provide for the children they will have to bear and raise due to their lack of coverage for abortion.

If only the burden could be shifted to the people who limit access to abortion, the debate would be over. Let the uber-religious folks (who want to impose their view of "life" on the rest of us) pay for these children including all food, clothing, medical care, education, rent and so on from birth through the age of 18, and they'd stop being so-called pro-life in a skinny minute.

Instead we all have to pay--all taxpayers—in the form of huge taxes for social services. It's a crazy world we inhabit and this is one of the craziest aspects as far as I am concerned.