"This is what the Lord says:
Administer justice; show mercy and compassion to one another." - Zechariah 1:9
As a coalition representing millions of people of faith committed to women's health and dignity, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice works for the full range of reproductive health services and the means to access them. Saying we “trust women” means that we trust women to make wise decisions. We applaud the Institute of Medicine recommendations issued July 20, 2011, that include the full range of contraceptive options as part of women's basic health care and welcome the Obama Administration's decision to accept those recommendations.
Planning one's family is a moral good, embraced by religions across the spectrum. Our society has a responsibility to ensure that all people have access to the means to plan their families. Family planning helps to build strong families, protect the health of women and children, reduce child and spousal abuse, and prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion.
Achieving full coverage of contraception is a fundamental principle of RCRC's Insure Women, Ensure Our Future campaign.
About Insure Women, Ensure Our Future
Our camp[aign is mobilizing people to oppose restrictions on coverage of abortion on the state insurance exchanges that are now being set up under health care reform legislation. Please join us in opposing and protesting these bans.
The federal health reform law imposes new restrictions on private insurance plans. It allows private insurers selling health plans through the exchanges to provide abortion coverage but requires enrollees who purchase plans that include abortion coverage to make two separate premium payments, one for the abortion coverage and one for the remainder of the coverage. Health care experts have said that the two-payment system is so cumbersome for insurers that it could lead them to opt out of providing abortion coverage altogether. The law also allows states to enact legislation prohibiting private insurance coverage of abortion care.
STATE BANS ON WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE
Almost immediately after the Affordable Care Act came into effect in March 2010, five states (Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee) passed bills to prohibit private health insurance plans sold on the exchanges from covering abortion, except in dire circumstances such as to save the woman’s life. Since then, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia passed bans. In all, 28 states are considering or had already passed similiar laws. That includes five states that already banned all private insurers from covering abortion services: Oklahoma, North Dakota, Idaho, Kentucky and Missouri.
An estimated 14.5 million women who are insured by their mid-sized and large employers would be affected by these new restrictions, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. Some estimates put the figure at 20 million. Contrast that to the fact that about 80 percent of private plans now cover pregnancy termination. (This is in addition to women whose coverage for abortion is already restricted to the narrow cases of incest, rape or life endangerment: women who receive Medicaid, federal workers, the military, the American Indian health service, women in federal prisons and even Peace Corps volunteers.)
This effort may be more devastating to women's reproductive health care than the hundreds of individual state laws now on the books.
FEDERAL ATTACKS ON WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARERAL ATTACKS ON WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This bill would:
(1) codify the Hyde Amendment and apply it the entire Federal government, which is a dangerous ban on all funding for abortion care unless it meets very strict requirements;
(2) increase taxes on individuals and small businesses, which would in effect prevent women from having access to comprehensive reproductive health insurance.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) introduced HR 358, the “Protect Life Act.” This bill would:
(1) resurrect the failed “Stupak-Pitts” amendment from health care reform;
(2) ban abortion coverage in insurance plans in all state exchanges;
(3) penalize insurers who offer abortion coverage outside the exchanges;
(4) allow hospitals to deny women life-saving abortion care.
Stand with RCRC. Protect women's access to services. Sign our petition to ensure that all women can get the safe, legal medical care they may need.
As a person of faith and conscience who cares deeply about the health and well-being of all persons, I believe that women should have access to safe medical care throughout their lives, including abortion services if and when necessary. Including coverage for abortion services in the upcoming state insurance exchanges is important to make sure that all women can get the safe, legal medical care they may need. Read the full petition.