H.R. 3692 and abortion
What does the Stupak Amendment say?
- No federal funds authorized or appropriated by health reform can be used to pay for abortion
- The public plan can only provide abortion coverage in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the woman is in danger (similar to the current Medicaid restriction)
- Individuals can purchase either a private insurance plan that covers abortion in the government-run marketplace, the Exchange, or supplementary abortion coverage “abortion rider.”
- The ‘abortion rider’ is not available to anybody who purchases the public plan
Who is most likely to be impacted by the Stupak Amendment?
- Any individual choosing to purchase health insurance through the Exchange will be tied by the Stupak amendment. People eligible to purchase through the Exchange include the following groups:
- Uninsured individuals
- People with individual health plans
- People working for small business (starting in 2013)
- People working for large companies (starting in 2015)
- Medicaid recipients (status quo, abortion is currently restricted for Medicaid recipients under the Hyde Amendment except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman’s life).
- The Hyde Amendment (above) has to be renewed annually
- The current language in H.R. 3692 codifies into federal law the restrictive abortion provisions, and they do not require annual approval.
- The Senate has to vote on its health reform bill, which currently does not have the Stupak amendment language in it.
- Once the Senate bill passes, it joins H.R. 3692 to Conference Committee to be merged into one bill
Want to take action?
Click here to send an e-mail to your Senators and Representatives, urging them to protect the reproductive rights of women:
The Stupak-Pitts amendment represents an unprecedented erosion of a women's right to choice and a dangerous expansion of the current restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion with potentially devastating consequences for millions of low- and middle-income women.
This amendment goes further than any previous federal law to restrict access to abortion - and it's up to us to ensure it is removed before the legislation is enacted into law. It would prohibit millions of women from getting coverage for abortion in their health insurance plans, even if they pay for it themselves. This is a stunning blow to a woman’s right to choice in this country.
As physicians and physicians-in-training, we must continue to advocate for reform that will benefit all of our patients and our communities while not hesitating to speak against provisions like the Stupak amendment that will do more harm than good.
We must act now and tell our Senators and Representatives that the language in the House bill will cause women to lose coverage, that language should be changed and should not be included in the Senate bill.