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Victory on Health Care Reform, but a Partial One

March 22, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rebekah Spicuglia Women’s Media Center 212-563-0680 The Women’s Media Center applauds the many important victories for women and our families in the landmark health care reform legislation including the elimination of gender as a pre-existing condition and the extension of insurance coverage to include birth control. Though historic, the passage of the bill is also bittersweet. We cannot ignore the fact this bill was passed only after a pro choice President appeased a gang of anti-choice legislators by agreeing to sign an Executive Order restating the Hyde Amendment – a longstanding and shameful provision which bars low-income women from accessing reproductive health care. Bart Stupak caved and ultimately failed. This is a victory for the health care of American women, but only a partial one. The executive order may or may not expand the Hyde Amendment's already devastating impact; only time will tell. What we do know is that the health care bill includes the Nelson amendment which imposes significant restrictions on access to reproductive health care. Until women’s perspectives, positions, and priorities are fully incorporated into our nation’s policies, ego-tripping representatives out for their fifteen minutes of fame will again and again attempt to use our reproductive rights to hijack legislation. Now is the time to channel our outrage into action by working to permanently defeat Hyde and purge the ranks of elected officials who would compromise the lives of women for political gain. In the post-vote analysis, much will be said on how women respond to our reproductive rights being used as a bargaining chip to guarantee passage of the bill. Stay tuned to the Women’s Media Center. Here are a few must-read statements on behalf of women: To speak with WMC President Jehmu Greene, please contact Rebekah Spicuglia, (212) 563-0680,