Press Releases 2009

Catholics for Choice Statement on Antichoice Amendment to Healthcare Reform

Media Contact:
202 986 6093

With the final House vote on healthcare reform nearing, antichoice extremists are holding the entire bill hostage to further their antiabortion agenda. They are demanding that the bill go far beyond the status quo restrictions on abortion that had been incorporated into the original bill.  In an outrageous amendment, which is expected to be voted on early Saturday afternoon, antichoice Democrats are demanding explicit and unequivocal exclusion of any coverage for abortion, even in private health plans in the proposed health insurance exchange. Women would lose coverage under this proposal.

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said:

“This is unconscionable. This tiny group of individuals has decided that their personal beliefs about abortion are more important than insuring millions of Americans who do not currently have coverage.

“We urge members of the House of Representatives to vote against the antichoice amendment. It is bad for American women and wrong for Congress to be deciding which procedures are covered and which are not.

“Catholics support healthcare reform and support coverage for reproductive healthcare services in that reform. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has been on Capitol Hill claiming to speak for America’s Catholics. They do not do so with any legitimacy. Poll after poll has shown that the American public, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, does not want to see Congress play politics with women’s healthcare.

“American Catholics will not forget who held their healthcare hostage, and allowed it to be held hostage, when the elections come around in 2010.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.