Pro-Choice Advocates Travel to Washington, D.C. for National Day of Action on Health Care Reform

Follow This Trip and Stop Stupak Activities on Twitter and Facebook

ALBANY, NY (12/01/2009)(readMedia)-- Pro-choice advocates from around the state and nation, including those from the Capital Region, will travel to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for the National Day of Action. They will speak with one voice and demonstrate to elected officials the overwhelming support for health care reform that protects women's health and the strong opposition to any ban on privately funded coverage for abortion services like that proposed in the Stupak Amendment.

Follow the trip online. Family Planning Advocates of New York State (FPA) will chronicle its advocates' more than 17-hour trip to Capitol Hill and back on Twitter at WomensHealthNY and Facebook at Women's Health Matters. They will Tweet and update their Facebook status following their planned activities: individual meetings with Congressional Representatives, including Congressmen Tonko, Murphy and Owens; a meeting of advocates from around the state with Senators Gillibrand and Schumer; and a rally and press conference on Capitol Hill

"Real health care reform will respect the right of women to purchase private health insurance that covers comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, which would be lost if the Stupak Amendment or similar language becomes law," said FPA President and CEO M. Tracey Brooks.

Fight the Stupak Amendment. Named for Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI), this anti-abortion amendment became part of the health care reform bill passed by the House of Representatives on Sat. Nov. 7, 2009.

If the Stupak Ban or a similar amendment in the Senate becomes law, millions of women will be prohibited from using their own money to buy private health insurance that includes abortion services through the new "exchange," or marketplace, established by health reform. This ban would apply to both the proposed public option and private plans.

"Currently a majority of private health insurance plans cover abortion care. But, if an employer obtains insurance through the new exchange in the future, women could lose coverage for such care," said Brooks.

"There has been no greater restriction on women's health in more than 30 years!" she added.

More than 40 organizations that comprise the Coalition to Pass Health Care Reform and Stop Stupak, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Family Planning Advocates, will meet with individual lawmakers and participate in a rally and press conference. Advocates will make it clear that they will not stand for the Stupak Amendment in the House of Representatives bill or any similar amendment in the Senate that would eliminate health care benefits women currently have.

The health care bill would make significant progress for women - ending gender inequalities in health care costs, halting discriminatory health care practices such as treating domestic violence and pregnancy as "pre-existing conditions," and making comprehensive health care more affordable for American women and their families. It is crucial that the health care reform bill not include a provision that would set women back.