Thursday, May 05, 2011

HR 3 Violates Women's Moral Agency: Senate, Just Say No

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the most restrictive federal abortion law yet,HR 3, “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. As people of faith, we must speak out to assure that the Senate rejects its draconian measures.

According to the National Network of Abortion Funding:

"If enacted, this bill would have a devastating impact on millions of women and families. Every woman, whether she gets her health care through a safety-net program like Medicaid or private health insurance, deserves to make her own decision about whether and when to have a baby.

HR 3 would make permanent bans on federal funding of abortion, bans that Congress should eliminate in the interest of fairness and women’s health. “Every single day we talk to women who have been denied the ability to make their own decisions because of these bans on abortion coverage,” says Stephanie Poggi, Executive Director of the Network.

HR3 reinforces health disparities by withholding abortion care from low-income women, women of color, and immigrant women. Because of racial inequalities in the United States , women of color are more likely to use Medicaid for their health care, and bear the burden of funding bans.

In addition to permanently banning the use of federal funds in Medicaid and other federal health programs, the bill would deny once again “home rule” to the District of Columbia to use its own money to pay for abortion care for women in need, prohibit abortion coverage in the new health care exchanges set to launch by 2014, and drive up the cost of health insurance by denying tax credits to individuals and small businesses that purchase insurance plans that include abortion coverage. The bill shows complete disregard for a woman’s health by denying funding even when continuing a pregnancy could lead to paralysis or interfere with cancer treatment."

As a faith leader, I seek to create a world where abortion is safe, legal, rare, AND accessible. HR 3 will deny women the right to make their own moral decisions about their own personal circumstances. Nothing in HR 3 will promote moral decision-making or flourishing families. I pray the U.S. Senate and the President "just say no."

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