Pro-Abortion Groups Push for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Language in Party Platforms

By Lauretta Brown | June 20, 2016 | 3:19pm EDT
(AP Photo)

( – A coalition of abortion advocacy organizations announced last week that they have sent letters to both the Democrat and Republican Party platform committees urging them to include language in their platform that the parties “oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine abortion access, and support overturning policies that presently interfere with a woman’s ability to end her pregnancy.”

“We urge you to answer this historic call for change by taking a strong stand against restrictions on abortion coverage and related restrictions in your party platform,” the groups wrote.

They asked that each platform state, “We support Roe v. Wade and a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion, regardless of where she lives, her citizenship, her insurance coverage, or her ability to pay.”

The letter cited the Hyde Amendment, a provision which prohibits federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, as one of the “restrictions” on abortion access.

“Since the passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, Congress has withheld insurance coverage for abortion from those enrolled in Medicaid,” they wrote. “Over the years, anti-abortion politicians have imposed similar restrictions on anyone who receives their health coverage or care through the federal government.”

“With continued and significant restrictions and bans on abortion across the country, it is more imperative than ever that no one is prohibited from making a personal decision about pregnancy just because of where she lives, her immigration status, her insurance coverage, or her ability to pay,” the letter argued. “It is better that she can make that decision with her family and her faith, without the interference of politicians.”

The letter also advocated for the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act (H.R. 2972), which they called “bold legislation to reverse the Hyde Amendment and related abortion coverage and care restrictions,” which they claimed “will go a long way towards ensuring that all of us have access to the same health coverage and reproductive decisions, even those of us struggling to make ends meet.”

The legislation, introduced last year by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would include coverage “for abortion care in public health insurance programs including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

Sixty-one groups signed on to the letter, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Abortion Federation, and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).

As previously reported, January Marist poll found that 68 percent of Americans still oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 51 percent of those who consider themselves pro-choice. Only three in 10 Americans (29 percent) support it.

The 2012 Republican Party platform stated “that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed” and states that the party opposes “using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.” 

The 2012 Democratic party platform stated that the party “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

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