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We have heard a lot of rhetoric about the Stupak amendment to the health reform bill, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, but it is imperative for us all to know certain facts about the “Stupak ban.”

If participating in the proposed health insurance exchange, private insurance companies couldn’t cover abortion. The Stupak ban would prohibit millions of women from using their own money to buy private health insurance that provides comprehensive reproductive health care benefits. This amendment amounts to an abortion ban for most middle- and lower-income women.

Stupak advocates say women wanting abortion coverage could purchase insurance outside the exchange.  However, no woman plans to have an abortion, yet one in three women in our country will have one during their reproductive life.  Additionally, insurance companies tailor plans to the highest regulatory standard, meaning many will likely drop abortion coverage from all plans to ensure their profits in the new market of reformed health care.

Americans have affirmed the “right to choose” countless times over since 1973.  We don’t want our government interfering in private medical decisions. Tell our senators Stupak mustn’t be part of health reform.

Julie Danaher, M.D., FACOG

Medical Director

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Planned Parenthood of Montana

Billings

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