Abortion Rights Group to Launch TV Ad Fighting Stupak Restrictions

By Gorman Gorman

Nov 16, 2009 2:33pm

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: An abortion rights group is preparing to launch a television ad on Tuesday using a rare condition in which a fetus is missing parts of its skull and brain in the hopes of rallying support for covering elective abortion procedures.Watch the ad HERE.
The ad, which is presented as a stand-up comedy routine, is paid for by the Center For Reproductive Rights. It is slated to air on cable networks in the Washington, DC, market and on Internet news sites starting Tuesday.

On Nov. 7, the House of Representatives voted 240-to-194 to approve an amendment offered by Rep. Bart Stupak, D.-Mich., which would prohibit subsidies from being used for any health insurance plan that includes an elective abortion service.

Now that the health-care debate is turning to the Senate, abortion rights groups are hoping that Stupak's tight abortion restrictions do not get included in the bill which ultimately ends up on President Obama's desk.

Abortion rights advocates worry that the Stupak amendment would result in millions of women who currently have an abortion service under their health-care plan losing that coverage once they begin qualifying for income-based subsidies.

When making the case for the Stupak restrictions, abortion rights opponents often note that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan does not include coverage of abortion.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is pushing back on the notion that subsidized private insurance should follow the FEHBP model by circulating a statement from D.J. Feldman, a federal employee denied insurance coverage after a termination of a anencephalic fetus.

Feldman said the denial of abortion coverage surprised and shocked her.

"That's when I learned just how punishing, invasive, and painful federal policy is when it comes to women's lives. A decision that should have been left between me and my doctor was made instead by politicians," said Feldman in a statement circulated by the Center for Reproductive Rights.


"So I think laughter is the best medicine.""That's because I can't afford health insurance." "I wrote a health-care reform joke. Do you want to hear it?""A woman walks into a doctor's office and says: Doc, my back is killing me, does my insurance cover  a breast reduction?  The Doctor says, "Yes it does.""

"A man walks into his doctor's office and says: Doc, I've got trouble breathing out of this side of my nose. Does my insurance cover a nose job? The doctor says: "Yes, it does.""

"A woman walks into her doctor's office and says: "Doc, I'm 11 weeks pregnant – my baby has anencephaly, which means parts of her skull and brain are literally missing. It's fatal. Does my insurance cover an abortion? The doctor says: "No it does not.""

"Anencephaly is fatal."

"Don't let Congress ban abortion coverage millions already have."


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