I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
N.M. pro-choice group condemns abortion restrictions in House health bill
The New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice today expressed outrage that an amendment included in health care legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday could mean the loss of abortion coverage for millions of women whose health insurance now covers it.
“Major Christian and Jewish denominations and millions of Americans disagree with this position and support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions. This action by the House is an unacceptable denial of our constitutional right to live according to our own moral beliefs,” Joan Lamunyon Sanford, of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said in a statement released Monday.
Sanford said it was “appalling” that abortion was singled out for exclusion from the bill–through the efforts of the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Catholic group had been working behind the scenes to eliminate abortion coverage from the bill and offered a last-minute endorsement of the plan allowed a vote on an amendment stripping abortion coverage from the public option as well as private plans. Groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL fought against the amendment, saying it would cause women to lose coverage they already have.
The amendment would not only prohibit the public option plan from paying for abortions, but it would also prevents private insurers who participate in the insurance exchange from offering the coverage.
The House and Senate still need to reconcile their health care reform plans and although Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), told MSNBC Monday that she was confident the amendment would be stripped in a conference committee, others believe the issue may be a formidable roadblock.