FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2015
Contact: Tara Sweeney,tsweeney@nirhealth.org, 917-488-0094

National Institute for Reproductive Health Congratulates City of Madison for Passing Resolution Calling for the Removal of Bans that Deny Abortion Coverage and Further Inequities

MADISON—Tonight the Common Council of Madison, Wisc., passed a Resolution Calling for Increased Funding for Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care. This resolution calls on the U.S. Congress, the Wisconsin legislature, and Gov. Scott Walker to remove the federal and state bans that deny abortion coverage to women based on the type of insurance coverage they use.

Since 1976, millions of women in America who qualify for public insurance have endured government-sanctioned discrimination in access to abortion services, in the form of the Hyde Amendment and similar federal and state bans on insurance coverage for abortion. The U.S. Congress is currently attempting to expand the ban on abortion coverage by attaching it to an anti-human trafficking measure.

Insurance bans are insidious in that they prey on vulnerable communities and have a disproportionate impact on low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, and young women.

“Ending these bans is one step toward ending the system-wide inequities that so many in our communities face,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “We applaud the Madison Common Council – and particularly Alder Lisa Subeck – for passing this resolution and showing that there is one more local community that won’t stand idly by as access to abortion becomes less and less of a reality for many women.”

“I entered public service in order to find solutions to the inequalities that divide our community,” said Alder Lisa Subeck of the Madison Common Council. “In bringing forth this resolution, the Madison Common Council is taking a stand to say that the amount of money a woman has should not prohibit her from having an abortion. This is not what Madison stands for. With this resolution we are saying it loud and clear: we will not look the other way.”

With this resolution, Madison joins the strong and growing movement underway to eliminate the disparity created by state and local laws that mandate discrimination in abortion coverage. Since 2013, the National Institute along with All* Above All has partnered with local advocates in cities across the country to pass resolutions demanding insurance coverage for the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion.These resolutions are bold statements of support for abortion coverage, and send a clear message to federal and state elected officials to reinstate the abortion coverage that has been denied to some women since 1976. Among the localities that have passed resolutions are New York City, Seattle, Philadelphia, Cambridge, Mass., and Travis County, Texas – and now Madison, Wisc.

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health works at the state and local level to promote reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive health care (with a focus on abortion care), reduce unintended pregnancies, and empower youth to make healthy sexual and reproductive decisions.