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New Planned Parenthood Video Highlights the Importance of Including Private Health Insurance Coverage of Abortion in Health Care Reform

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 03.16.10

South Dakota Mother of Three Discusses Her Complicated Pregnancy and Abortion

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund today released a new online video highlighting the importance of private health insurance coverage of abortion and urged Congress to pass health care reform without new abortion restrictions. The video features Tiffany Campbell, a mother of three from South Dakota, telling her story about a complicated pregnancy and abortion that were both emotionally and financially challenging for Tiffany and her family. 

In 2006, Campbell was pregnant with twins when her doctor told her she had a serious complication called twin-to-twin syndrome. Her doctor advised her that the only real hope to save one of the twins was to have a selective abortion.  Tiffany and her family agonized over the decision, and ultimately chose to do what was necessary to save one of the twins. Today, that baby is a healthy three-year-old boy.

Fortunately, Campbell had health insurance. But even her insurance did not fully cover the complicated procedure, and the family was left with thousands of dollars of debt.

[Read Tiffany’s first person account of her story in RH Reality Check]

“Tiffany Campbell’s story is a wake-up call to all women who might one day face a complicated pregnancy,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “If Congress restricts private health insurance coverage for abortion, women with complicated pregnancies making the most difficult personal and medical decision of their lives would likely face costly medical bills they cannot pay. Every member of Congress should listen to Tiffany tell her story, before they vote to restrict private health insurance coverage for abortion.” 

As congressional leaders and the White House push for a final vote on health care reform, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) continues to threaten to bring down the entire bill unless the Stupak abortion coverage ban is adopted. Analysts have concluded that both the Stupak abortion coverage ban in the House bill and the Nelson abortion provision in the Senate bill would lead to the elimination of private health insurance coverage for abortion.

“We cannot let single-minded anti-choice ideologues and organizations use health care reform to achieve their narrow political agenda to end safe and legal abortion in the United States,” said Richards. “Tiffany Campbell is telling her story to ensure that health insurance covers what women need. Women should not be left worse off after health care reform.  They should keep the benefits they have today.”

As a leading advocate for comprehensive health care for all women and families, Planned Parenthood is committed to fixing our broken health care system and guaranteeing quality, affordable health care for all Americans. If enacted, President  Obama’s proposal would extend health care coverage to tens of millions of women and families, guarantee access to affordable preventive screenings for cancer and other lifesaving tests, protect women against gender discrimination by private insurers, end the practice of dropping coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and significantly increase access to reproductive health care.  The proposal also includes a commonsense provision to expand family planning under Medicaid, which would significantly increase access to essential preventive health care for millions of women.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.