My inbox was flooded with emails from outraged readers this week from pro-choice and civil liberties groups demanding action on abortion coverage in health reform. It felt a little déjà-vu. After the healthcare reform process, which brought us Bart Stupak and months of controversy over whether abortion would be sidelined as a different kind of health procedure that shouldn’t be covered, I thought we’d reached an unpleasant, but complete compromise.
As the House and Senate hash out their versions of the sweeping healthcare reform bill in the coming weeks, several crucial women’s health issues hang in the balance. The most high-profile, and controversial, is abortion — the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House and the Managers Amendment in the Senate would both severely restrict abortion coverage nationwide, even among private insurers — but coverage of other women’s health procedures, such as mammograms, are also written specifically into the bill (those are, fortunately, required to be covered).