Center for Reproductive Rights: U.S. House Passes Bill to Deny Millions of Women Reproductive Health Care Coverage

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–January 22, 2015.  After canceling a vote originally planned for today on an unconstitutional federal abortion ban following loud opposition over the bill’s cruel, narrow exceptions, the U.S. House of Representatives instead voted on and passed a bill that would deny insurance coverage of abortion care for millions of women who rely on federal insurance plans and state marketplaces.

Anti-choice members of the House at the last minute pushed to vote on HR7 today, the 42nd anniversary of the historic U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, and just weeks after multiple abortion restrictions were introduced—including the federal 20- week ban on abortion advanced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on the first day of the new Congress.

Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“It is telling that the opponents of women’s rights and reproductive choice have an arsenal of measures at the ready to attack women’s access to safe, legal, essential reproductive health care.

“On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, these politicians have made it clear that their top priority in this Congress is to mount a ferocious new escalation of their war on women, aiming squarely at women facing the most difficult economic and personal circumstances.

“Women’s health care, including abortion, must not be singled out for differential treatment from other health care, and no woman should be denied essential care because of where she gets her health insurance or how much money she makes. 

“It is time for our elected leaders to put a stop to politically motivated measures that will only worsen the growing health care crisis facing women across the U.S., and advance real legislation to restore access to essential women’s health services for the millions who have had it taken away.”

HR 7 would permanently ban abortion coverage for millions of American women, including federal employees, women enrolled in Medicaid, military servicewomen, Peace Corps volunteers, and many others who receive health care and insurance coverage through the federal government. HR 7 would also ban health facilities, including those on military bases, from offering abortion services, and prohibits abortion coverage from being offered in multi-state health insurance plans created under the Affordable Care Act.

The passage of this harmful measure builds on the same relentless attacks anti-choice politicians waged on women’s rights in the last Congress—including passing a similar measure through the House in 2013. According to a recently released report from the Center for Reproductive Rights, opponents of women’s reproductive freedom were met with bold, proactive strategies to restore access to reproductive health care in the 113th Congress—from the introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act to advocacy efforts to expand reproductive health care coverage.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 217/HR. 448), which was reintroduced in the Senate and House Wednesday, would prohibit politicians from imposing restrictions on reproductive health care providers that apply to no similar medical care, interfere with women’s personal decision making, and block access to safe and legal abortion services.