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Pro-Choice Resources and NARAL condemn anti-choice agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 22, 2015

Contact: Karen Law – 612-865-8397

Andrea Ledger – 651-356-9358

Minnesota Reproductive Health Groups Condemn Anti-Choice Legislation

Saint Paul, MN (January 22, 2015) — This morning, reproductive health advocates in Minnesota condemned efforts that would restrict women’s access to affordable abortion care. These efforts, which have been put forth by local anti-choice groups including Minnesota Citizens Concern for Life (MCCL), prohibit Minnesota’s Medical Assistance funds from covering abortion care. MCCL and anti-choice groups released their agenda on the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion in the United States.

“In lieu of banning abortion altogether, MCCL and anti-choice groups are targeting Minnesota’s most vulnerable by making abortion care unaffordable. Any woman in Minnesota, from Rochester to Minneapolis to Crookston, should be able to make her own important life decisions, including whether to become a parent. But now our politicians want to treat some women’s health needs differently than others because of their income or source of insurance,” declared Andrea Ledger, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.

Minnesota is one of 15 states that uses state Medicaid funds to cover both childbirth and abortion care for low-income women. Minnesota’s Supreme Court decision, which was ruled on in 1995, ensures access to reproductive health care for all women, regardless of their financial situation or source of insurance coverage. These efforts, if enacted as legislation, would violate Minnesota’s constitutionally guaranteed reproductive decision-making by imposing coverage bans and other restrictions that limit access to abortion care.

“Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage just because she’s poor. These bans disproportionately affect low-income women, women of color, and young people,” explained Karen Law, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Resources. “Minnesotans need more, not less, access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services, and that includes safe and affordable abortion.”

“These efforts are a thinly veiled attack on women’s reproductive decisions and Minnesotans won’t stand for it,” added Ledger.

Fall Newsletter: The New State of Abortion Access in the Midwest

Abortion Access by StateLast fiscal year, with your support we were able to help more than 800 people living in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin access abortion care through our abortion assistance fund.   

As we look back over the data we collect from each caller, this story is shifting.  More than ever before the people we serve are telling us how anti-choice laws and policies specific to public and private health insurance coverage are making it close to impossible for the people we serve to access the abortion care they need.

The sad reality is that if you are low-income, the state you live in will likely be a determining factor of whether or not you will be able to access abortion care.

Read the full story about the impact these laws are having on people with low or no incomes, as well as get program and event updates in our Fall 2014 newsletter.

In the four decades of legal, safe abortion, it has remained unaffordable and unavailable for far too many, particularly women of color.

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September 30, 2014 marks the 38th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which passed in 1976. A direct response to the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion just three years earlier, the Hyde Amendment was the first of many restrictions on abortion, and denied Medicaid patients the right to an abortion. Later restrictions followed: federal employees, U.S. military personnel and their families, Peace Corps volunteers, Indian Health Service recipients, federal prisoners, and people with disabilities covered by Medicare — all denied abortion coverage.

The intent of the Hyde Amendment is to make it more difficult for low-income women to get the abortions they need. It is the backdrop to all abortion funds.

Our Executive Director, Karen Law, was featured in both the National Journal and ThinkProgress recently discussing the impact of Hyde on people living in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest and our work as part of the national All* Above All campaign to reform these unacceptable policies.

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