WASHINGTON, DC — Today the Senate accepted the Mikulski (D-MD) amendment to the Senate health care bill by a vote of 61-39. The amendment does not explicitly require abortion coverage, but it also fails to explicitly exclude it. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) could categorize abortion as “preventive care,” and would therefore recommend coverage for abortion by all private plans. The recommendation would force private plans to offer abortion coverage, furthering the abortion lobby’s agenda of mainstreaming abortion as health care.
Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest stated, “Abortion is not ‘preventive care.’ In this amendment, Sen. Mikulski apparently intends to expand abortion services under the guise of mandated preventive care. This deceptive tactic underscores the need for an amendment that explicitly prohibits the government from mandating that private insurance companies cover abortion under the guise of ‘preventive care.’”
Senator Murkowski’s amendment would have ensured that abortion is not classified by the government as “preventive care” or as a “preventive service.” The Murkowski proposal was defeated 41 to 59.
Dr. Yoest added, “The Senate failed the first test to stop mandatory abortion coverage by voting against the Murkowski proposal. Senator Murkowski’s amendment would have prevented abortion from being categorized as ‘preventive care.’ It is critical that such language be added to the Senate health care reform bill. Otherwise, for the first time in history, the federal government could mandate that private insurance companies cover abortion.”
To go to AUL’s analysis of the Mikulski v. Murkowski Amendment, click here.
AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest and Staff Counsel Mary Harnedare available to provide further comment and analysis on the Mikulski Amendment and other women’s health issues in the health care bill. To arrange an interview, contact Heather Smith 202-270-9962 orHeather.Smith@aul.org.
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is the first national pro-life organization in America. In 1980, AUL successfully defended the Hyde Amendment before the U.S. Supreme Court in Harris v. McRae.