30 September 2009

Poll: Americans Support Keeping Health Care Reform Abortion Neutral

[1 October Update: The New York Times adds coverage: Senate Panel Rejects Tightening of Abortion Restrictions and an editorial: Abortion and Health Care Reform on the continuing debate.]

As the New York Times reports in its September 28 article, Abortion Fight Complicates Debate on Health Care, the struggle over women's reproductive rights rages on as Congress considers reform: "Abortion opponents in both the House and the Senate are seeking to block the millions of middle- and lower-income people who might receive federal insurance subsidies to help them buy health coverage from using the money on plans that cover abortion."

But while Republicans and some moderate Democrats are seeking to bargain away women's access to abortion through their health insurance plans, the Women Donors Network and the Communications Consortium Media Center have released a new poll [pdf] which finds overwhelmingly that "Americans support efforts to keep this health care reform package abortion neutral."

The poll, conducted by the Mellman Group, surveyed 1,000 likely voters on issues of health care reform and reproductive and maternal health and rights. Most significantly, the results reveal that:

  • "Americans oppose using abortion as a means of derailing health care reform and oppose using health care reform as a means of expanding or restricting abortion;" and

  • "Americans want maternity care as part of the basic benefit package offered under health care reform and want to make sure that women can access their medical care in those communities."

For extensive information about the health care debate and what's at stake for women, see womenandhealthcarereform.org, a joint project of the Reproductive Rights Action Circle of the Women Donors Network and the Communications Consortium Media Center.

To find out more about the Ms. Foundation for Women's two rapid response grants to bolster women's organizing for equitable health care in the final stretches of the reform debate, check out our recent posting: Ms. Foundation Grants Support Women's Health Care Reform Justice.

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