Reproductive Rights Under Attack
Since the passage of Roe v. Wade, anti-choice advocates have worked to chip away at the woman’s right to choose granted by the Supreme Court. Attacks on abortion access have occurred through federal legislation, state legislation, and the courts.
At the state level, 2012 saw over 40 abortion restrictions in states ranging from Arizona to South Carolina to Virginia. These laws took many forms: parental notification policies were tightened, abortion coverage on the insurance exchanges was abolished, later term abortions were criminalized, and more mandatory waiting periods and counseling were enacted.
The 112th Congress also attempted to pass several pieces of anti-choice legislation. These included the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would permanently bar any federal government money from being spent on abortions, denying the right to choose to women who rely on Medicaid, Medicare, or the Indian Health Service; deny tax credits to businesses that provide health care plans that include abortion coverage; and prohibit medical deductions for payments to health plans that cover abortion services. The similar “Protect Life Act” would ban health insurance plans from offering abortion coverage in the new exchanges created by the health care reform law, restrict a woman's ability to use her OWN money to pay for a health plan that includes abortion coverage, and violate one of the fundamental principles of health care reform - that no one will lose their current health insurance benefits (nearly 90 percent of private health insurance plans currently include abortion coverage).
The 113th Congress has already seen a re-introduction of the Title X Abortion Provider Act, which would prevent any organization that offers abortions from receiving money through the federal government’s Title X funding stream. Title X provides money for family planning programs and due to the way the bill is drafted, Planned Parenthood, which does vital work enhancing women’s’ health, could lose its federal funding.
In the face of these attacks, it is essential that we urge our members of Congress to oppose these and other dangerous bills, and that we work in our home states to prevent anti-choice legislation from passing. To take action and reach your members of Congress, call 202-224-3121, or visit the RAC’s Chai Impact Action Center (see box at top right of the page) to send an email.