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CNN.com Exclusive: Latinas Need Voice in Abortion Debate

Friday, December 11, 2009
Silvia Henriquez, NLIRH
CNN.com

CNN.com features opinion commentary from Silvia Henriquez, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, on health care reform’s impact on women and immigrants.

In this exclusive Op-Ed for CNN.com/Opinion, read by 40 million people every month, Ms. Henriquez highlights the growing political power of Latinas and demands reproductive justice for the millions of women across the United States in danger of losing abortion coverage as a result of anti-choice politics in health care reform.

CNN.com EXCLUSIVE: Latinas need voice in abortion debate

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from Latinas and their families who were outraged by proposed amendments that could potentially roll back our ability to access safe abortion care. This amendment would make a legal medical procedure financially inaccessible for many women – even those who prior to health care reform had abortion coverage through their own insurance if that insurance is then offered in the public exchange."

 

“Latinas called their senators and wrote letters on behalf of daughters, sisters, aunts and mothers in their communities, urging policy makers to vote for health care reform that includes coverage for abortion, and provides health care access for immigrants."

 

“Opponents argue that more women will be covered under overall health care reform, as if that should satisfy us. The fact remains: if millions of low-and moderate income women covered under a new federally subsidized health system can’t access abortion care from an insurance plan bought even partly with federal support, policy makers are essentially telling them that they do not matter—that the reality of their lives must be ignored.  The legacy of health care reform should not be to send women back into the shadows for a procedure allowed under U.S. law. We have worked too hard to reform our health care system for women to be worse off than they were before.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

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