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Will Planned Parenthood and NARAL Score the House Bill?

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood says:

Planned Parenthood condemns the adoption of the Stupak/Pitts amendment in HR 3962 this evening. This amendment is an unacceptable addition to the health care reform bill that, if enacted, would result in women losing health benefits they have today. Simply put, the Stupak/Pitts amendment would restrict women’s access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market, undermining the ability of women to purchase private health plans that cover abortion, even if they pay for most of the premiums with their own money. This amendment reaches much further than the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited public funding of abortion in most instances since 1977.

Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL says:

It is unconscionable that anti-choice lawmakers would use health reform to attack women’s health and privacy, but that’s exactly what happened on the House floor tonight. Even though the bill already included a ban on federal funding for abortion and a requirement that only women’s personal  funds could pay for abortion care, Reps. Stupak and Pitts took their obsession with attacking a woman’s right to choose to a whole new level. We will hold those lawmakers who sided with the extreme Stupak-Pitts amendment accountable for abandoning women and capitulating to the most extreme fringe of the anti-choice movement.

That’s a pretty damn bad bill.  Some are calling it the worst assault on a woman’s right to choose since the passage of Roe v. Wade.   And now we hear Ben Nelson wants the Stupak language in the Senate bill.  As I told Rick Klein and David Chalian on ABC’s Top Line this morning, I don’t think the Democrats want to spend the political capital to fight for choice.  Good thing NARAL and Planned Parenthood are scoring the House bill, because that will be a very good incentive to keep members of the Senate from coming out in favor of it.

Wait…Planned Parenthood and NARAL are scoring the bill, right?

Laurie Rubiner, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of public policy, declined to say whether her organization would consider a vote in favor of the bill as an vote against abortion rights on its congressional scorecard.

Evidently “the organization must tread carefully to promote reproductive rights without sabotaging a health care bill they would otherwise find generally beneficial.”

They may be able to sell that in the weekly Common Purpose veal-pen roundup, but I’m not sure it’s going to go over so well with women who just lost control of their uteruses to Bart Stupak.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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