Faith Groups Supporting Abortion Rights
When we talk about religion and reproductive rights, too often the progressive faith voice goes unnoticed. I have been interning at the National Council of Jewish Women and one of our priorities is to make sure that our voice is heard in this debate. The loud religious right seems to be at the forefront, attempting to take away a woman's individual moral agency and her constitutional right to choose to terminate her pregnancy. But on Thursday, several faith groups held a Congressional briefing supporting abortion rights. This briefing included Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Catholics for Choice, the RAC, and National Council of Jewish Women in coalition with a dozen other faith groups.
This briefing was in response to two proposed bills: the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (S. 906/H.R. 3) and the Protect Life Act (S. 877/H.R. 358). which would prevent tax receipts to be used for abortions. Under the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, women receiving health care coverage through Medicaid, the Indian Health Service and other federally funded programs would continue to be prevented from accessing abortion services except in the limited cases of rape, incest or when their lives are in danger. This bill would permanently take away access to a critical health care service from those who cannot afford it. Even women serving in the military would continue to be prevented from using their own, private money to access abortion services in military facilities. Additionally, this harmful bill would take away medical deductions and employer tax credits for health insurance plans that include abortion services, which could cause private insurers to drop abortion coverage. If this bill passes, the fear is that women would have to buy their own "unintended pregnancy insurance" plans, and as Sara Hutchinson from Catholics for Choice said, "No one plans an unplanned pregnancy," thus illustrating the ridiculousness of this alternative.