What does that mean, you ask? Every year, on the the Friday before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, NARAL Pro-Choice America organizes Blog for Choice Day in order to get people thinking and talking about reproductive rights in America today.
This year’s discussion question is: Given the anti-choice gains in the states and Congress, are you concerned about choice in 2011?
Now, it’s been a long day–my last day of high school ever–and I’m not feeling up to answering this question in its entirety. However, I would like to bring up two bills that are currently in Congress, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” and the “Protect Life Act,” which, in addition to imposing a permanent, blanket prohibition on any and all federal spending for abortion care (currently there are restrictions, but they are for specific programs and must be renewed every year), would essentially take away all federal tax credits for healthcare plans that include abortion, even those that are medically necessary.
The proposed restrictions will make healthcare companies question whether they should include abortion in their policies (currently 87% of companies, a very large proportion, do) and make it extremely difficult for poor women to get abortions. If a woman’s healthcare plan will not help her to pay for a $750 dollar abortion, she may be forced to make unreasonable sacrifices to pay for it, or be unable to get an abortion at all. I find this idea to be scary–and so do many other people.
So, on Blog for Choice Day 2011, remember the importance of access to abortion. Even though a ban on abortion may not be on the horizon, there is a chance that through healthcare restrictions abortion access will be extremely limited–something that we and our congresspeople should work to try to prevent.