URGENT: Urge Your Representative to Oppose the "Protect Life Act"
The "Protect Life Act" (H.R. 358/S. 877), which was introduced on March 17 by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), is scheduled to come to the House floor for a vote on Thursday. In a year when the Constitutionally guaranteed right for all Americans to access reproductive health services has been consistently under attack, this proposed bill is an extremely serious threat.
The Protect Life Act would prohibit federal funding under the health care reform law from being used toward any health plan that offers abortion services, even though adequate protections already exist to ensure that no federal funds will be used for abortion services. H.R. 358/S. 877 also contains a troubling expansion of conscience clause protections that would allow health care providers to continue receiving federal funding even if they refuse to provide abortion services necessary to save a woman's life. This provision fails to strike the proper balance between the individual health care provider's right to his or her own religious and moral beliefs and the patient's right to access health care services.
This bill, if passed, would dramatically reduce women's access to safe and affordable abortion services and restrict a woman's ability to use her OWN private money for abortion services. It would also result in greater government interference in what is typically a very private, and often religious, decision.
The Protect Life Act holds insurance companies fiscally hostage if they attempt to provide abortion services to their clients, as the bill requires an insurance company that offers a qualified health plan with abortion coverage to offer a second, additional plan that does not include abortion coverage but is otherwise identical in every other way. Additionally, women with the lowest income levels are unjustly targeted; women who struggle financially are unlikely to be able to afford insurance supplements that cover abortion services, especially since unplanned pregnancies resulting in abortions are, by definition, unexpected.
Take action today: Contact your Representative and urge him/her to vote against the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358). You can send an email by clicking here or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.