Bookmark and Share
Printer Friendly
December 9, 2009

Health Insurance Reform and Abortion

Listed in: Women's Issues, Other Domestic Policy, Reproductive Rights, NJDC News, Opinions

Originally published in Politico’s Arena

By David A. Harris, President of the National Jewish Democratic Council

The issue of reproductive rights and access to reproductive health services will not sink health insurance reform. To the contrary, expanding—not diminishing—access to reproductive health services should be a part of comprehensive reform.

The comfortable defeat of Senator Ben Nelson’s amendment is a good thing, as it would have dramatically set back the cause of reproductive rights. The sort of restrictions supported by this amendment unfortunately remind many Americans of a darker time in the history of our nation’s reproductive rights movement. The clear majority of Americans are proud to live in a county where women have access to reproductive health services.

The Senate must rise to the opportunity this legislation presents and pass this historic reform—without making political compromises that greatly limit the rights of more than half of Americans.

The inequity and injustice of our system leads those of us in the Jewish community—like those in so many faith and other communities—to believe that we have a moral imperative to pass health insurance reform in a fast and responsible way. I believe that now, after the defeat of the Nelson amendment and after the announcement of last night’s agreement, the prospect for real progress has never looked better.