Published: 04.05.11| Updated: 04.05.11
PROVIDENCE– Today, the Rhode Island Senate passed Senate Bill 87 to establish a state healthcare exchange. The bill includes restrictions to abortion coverage that go well beyond the parameters of the federal health reform legislation.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England President and CEO Judy Tabar states that, “We are extremely disappointed by the Rhode Island Senate’s passage of a healthcare exchange bill that places extreme and unwarranted restrictions on abortion coverage. These additional restrictions in SB 87 are unnecessary because the federal healthcare reform law strictly prohibits any public funds from being used to subsidize healthcare coverage for abortion services.”
Women’s healthcare has already been compromised in the federal law, which treats abortion, a legal medical procedure, differently from all other healthcare services. There is no sound policy reason to place additional restrictions on access to abortion coverage other than to try to stop women from availing themselves of this legal medical procedure and related health coverage.
Planned Parenthood is a strong supporter of healthcare reform, as it has the potential to improve access to healthcare for women.
The bill passed by the Rhode Island Senate puts unfair restrictions on women’s healthcare access. Therefore, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England cannot support passage of the healthcare bill in its current form.