The EACH Woman Act, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), over seventy Congressional Co-Sponsors and with the support of thirty-six women’s health, rights, and justice advocacy organizations, ensures coverage for abortion for everyone, however much they earns or however they are insured.
We are proud to have worked for this groundbreaking and visionary bill.
For too long, politicians have interfered in health decisions by banning insurance coverage for abortion care. Whether they has private or government-funded health insurance, everyone should have coverage for a full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion. When health programs for women with low incomes cover birth control and abortion – not just childbirth – and people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.
The EACH Woman Act makes a meaningful change for us, creating two important standards for reproductive health.
First, the bill respects that everyone should be able to make their own decisions about pregnancy. If you get your care or insurance through the federal government, you will be covered for all pregnancy-related care, including abortion.
Second, the EACH Woman Act prohibits political interference with decisions of private health insurance companies to offer coverage for abortion care. Federal, state and local legislators will not be able to interfere with the private insurance market to prevent insurance companies from providing abortion coverage.
From NNAF Executive Director Yamani Hernandez:
The EACH Woman Act is a momentous step forward. At the National Network of Abortion Funds, with our 80 funds across the country that receive calls every day from those who can’t cover the cost of an abortion, we know first-hand how significant this change will be in the lives of individuals and families across the country. We know full well the devastating impact that coverage bans and restrictions have on people’s lives.
For far too long, anti-choice politicians have interfered in reproductive health decisions by banning insurance coverage for abortion care. Each restriction, each ban is intended to further their ultimate goal of making abortion unaffordable and unavailable for as many people as possible. We cannot allow this to continue.
Practically speaking, for those who are struggling to make ends meet, a coverage ban might as well be a ban on abortion all together. This is not safe, and it is not just.
Last year, we received calls from thousands who were unable to afford abortion care due to coverage bans imposed by politicians. Even though they know what’s best for their families, they were not able to cover the cost of an abortion.
In the last few years, anti-choice politicians at the state level have made this even worse. They have passed hundreds of bans that make it harder to afford the cost of an abortion. They have passed waiting periods, twenty week bans, ultrasoundrequirements, and clinic restrictions. Most of these heartless bans mean visiting a clinic more than once, increasing travel costs, child care costs, and time away from work, resulting in deepening poverty. When we deny coverage for abortion care, we put healthcare out of reach.
When I think of coverage bans, when I think of the Hyde Amendment, I can’t help but think of the stories that have changed the way that I thought about this issue. I think of:
- The young woman I met nine years ago who inspired my career change. She was willing to pay people $10 each to beat her up and force a miscarriage rather than have to come up with hundreds of dollars to afford
- I think of the story of a woman in Boston, who called an abortion fund after collecting hundreds of aluminum cans to fund her abortion, only to have her car break down on the way to the clinic.
Now, at NNAF we do everything can to provide assistance, but the terrible reality is that the need exceeds our capacity. In order for everyone to have equal access to healthcare, we need sweeping and visionary legislation that puts an end to these funding bans once and for all. For this, we need the EACH Woman Act.
We need this act for me, for you, for all of us. We need the EACH Woman Act to make sure that each of us, not just some of us, can make the most critical decisions about
With this act, insurance coverage of abortion will no longer be traded away in floor debates or subject to the whims of anti-choice legislators. The EACH Woman Act will go a long way towards ensuring that all of us have access to the same coverage and choices, regardless of income, location, and source of insurance.
And that’s meaningful change for all of us.