PA ACLU Slams HB 818

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Via Above Average Jane, the ACLU’s statement on HB 818:

 In the latest in a series of troubling votes on women’s healthcare, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation today to block insurance coverage of abortion care in the insurance exchange created by the federal healthcare reform law. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania was among the opponents of the bill, stating that it is a “radical expansion of government interference” in the private market.

“By banning insurance coverage of abortion care, the House has wandered into new territory,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This is an extreme rollback of current state law, which is silent on the issue of private insurance coverage of abortion.

“The House simply cannot keep its hands off of women’s healthcare.”

The passage of House Bill 818 comes on the heels of multiple votes in the 2011-12 session to restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare. In that session, the House passed legislation to implement new, unnecessary regulations on women’s health clinics, passed a previous version of the insurance exchange ban, and held a committee vote on forced ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.

The clinic regulations bill was also passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Corbett.
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act addressed the issue of insurance coverage of abortion, under an amendment offered by conservative Democratic Senator Ben Nelson. The Nelson amendment requires that a customer who participates in the insurance exchange would submit a separate payment to cover the abortion provision of the policy, ensuring that public funds are not used for covering abortion care.

HB 818 goes much further by prohibiting insurance coverage of abortion in policies sold within the exchange altogether, with only very narrow exceptions for rape, incest, and imminent death of the woman.

“This bill even prohibits insurance coverage of abortion when the woman’s health is at risk, such as with complications from cancer or diabetes,” said Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The House members who supported this bill are either hopelessly naïve about the realities of women’s health or exceptionally cruel. Either way, they have no business micromanaging women’s healthcare from Harrisburg.”

HB 818 now heads to the state Senate for its consideration. Earlier this month, a Senate committee passed an identical bill, Senate Bill 3, which is currently on the Senate

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

6 Responses to PA ACLU Slams HB 818

  1. Pingback: Pennsylvania Politicians Ought to be Ashamed: The Latest Attack on Women’s … – American Civil Liberties Union News and Information (blog) | Health News

  2. Don Adams says:

    Good to know Anonymous Jane supports taxpayer funded abortion.

    Jane, whoever you are, abortion is not health care. And at least half of the babies that are killed by abortion would have one day grown up to be women.

    • Jon says:

      It’s not taxpayer-funded abortion. People get money to buy health insurance. That’s their money. They should be allowed to buy whatever they want with it. Why should the government micromanage their choices?

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  4. Pingback: Pennsylvania Politicians Ought to be Ashamed: The Latest Attack on Women’s … – American Civil Liberties Union News and Information (blog) |

  5. Chris says:

    You can dress it up and call it anything you like, but abortion is still the killing of human beings. Think of some of the most loved people in your life—maybe your mom or dad, a favorite aunt, a best friend, a wonderul teacher, a beloved husband, even the friendly clerk at a little shop you frequent. For all of the millions of babies who’ve been killed since Roe v. Wade, they, too, would’ve been really special people to others. But they’d lost their RIGHT to live because some people –very erroneously–feel it’s a right to take the lives of others. Are those babies about to be born less alive than YOU? Of course, not!
    What kind of twisted society is it when the ability to legally murder a baby—and it IS a baby–is demanded as a right?! There’s nothing RIGHT about it, and if you think it is, you’re WRONG.
    Seriously, I hope God chnages your hearts like He’s changed the hearts of many of our fellow citizens. More are now opposed to abortion than for it—thank God!