Reinstating Coverage for AbortionChristie PetroneApril 16, 2018
The National Institute has a long history of supporting abortion coverage in both public and private insurance, including our 2010 ground-breaking research
in anticipation of the anticipated attacks on abortion coverage following passage of the Affordable Care Act. Since 2012, promoting coverage for abortion care has been a priority in its local strategies, and the National Institute has supported advocates across the country to work with their city councils and local boards of health to ensure that all women have insurance coverage, whether private or public, for this important health care service.
Current federal policies and a host of copycat state laws withhold insurance coverage for abortion from people who qualify for government-sponsored insurance programs. Since 2012, the National Institute has prioritized insurance coverage for abortion care in its local strategies, supporting advocates working with their city councils and local boards of health to ensure that all women have insurance coverage for abortion care.
The National Institute, in partnership with the All* Above All campaign, has worked with cities across the country to demonstrate elected leaders’ support for comprehensive reproductive health care for all women, calling on federal and state politicians to reinstate coverage for abortion services. By showing public approval for abortion coverage in their home communities, these resolutions have an impact on policymakers at the state and national levels, who have the power to change the laws impacting millions of women across the country. Learn about attacks on insurance coverage of abortion on the local level.
On April 9, 2018, the Durham County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment and calling upon President Trump and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to support measures to ensure and protect the rights of women, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals everywhere to have unhindered access to safe and comprehensive health care. NIRH and All* Above All partnered with NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina and a broad coalition of local organizations, including Carolina Abortion Fund, SisterSong, ACLU of North Carolina, Action NC, American Association of University Women NC, Equality NC, Jewish Voice for Peace, National Association of SW NC Chapter, NC Justice Center, North Carolina NOW, Planned Parenthood of the South Atlantic, and Southerners on New Ground (SONG) to advocate for passage of this resolution.
On April 20, 2017, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a proclamation in support of policies that support insurance coverage and funding for all reproductive health care services for women, including abortion. This vote followed a hearing by the Board of Commissioners on March 29, 2016, that examined the landscape of reproductive health care access in the county. The National Institute and All* Above All partnered with the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), the Momentum Alliance, the Western States Center, and the We are BRAVE Coalition to introduce and win passage of this proclamation.
- Read the resolution here.
- Watch video of the meeting and the compelling testimony from advocates here (begins at 1:33:40).
- Read testimony from the following speakers:
- Read the Storify for the live-tweeting of the meeting here.
- Read more about this resolution on Western States Center’s blog.
- Read the press release here.
On November 20, 2017, the Pittsburgh City Council voted to pass a Will of Council calling for the passage of the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage (EACH Woman) Act
, a federal bill that would reinstate abortion coverage in public insurance programs, and for the repeal of Pennsylvania’s ban on abortion coverage in private insurance plans sold through the state’s Health Insurance Exchange. This remarkable effort was led by New Voices for Reproductive Justice
, a human rights organization dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Black women and women of color in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and supported by the National Institute for Reproductive Health and All* Above All.
- Read the Will of Ordinance here.
- Watch video of the meeting and the compelling testimony from advocates here.
- Read testimony from the following speakers:
- Read the live-tweeting of the meeting with the hashtag #BOLDtheBurgh here.
- Read the press release here.
On September 7, 2016, the Ithaca Common Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution condemning the Hyde Amendment and calling upon the US Congress and President Obama to support and reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services. The National Institute and All* Above All worked closely with Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes to support the lead sponsor of the resolution, Alderperson Cynthia Brock, and the other Alders on the Common Council to introduce and win passage of the resolution. Mayor Svante Merrick further expressed his support by releasing a Mayoral Proclamation calling for the passage of the EACH Woman Act. Moving testimony was provided in support of the resolution by advocates and community members.
On September 28, the Boston City Council, led by Councilmember Ayanna Pressley, unanimously passed a resolution honoring the United for Abortion Coverage Week of Action and calling an end to 40 years of the Hyde Amendment. The National Institute and All* Above All partnered with a coalition of organizations in Boston included Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the ACLU of Massachusetts, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, and the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion (EMA) Fund, an abortion fund that had previously led work to pass a resolution in nearby Cambridge, to support the Boston City Council in this work. Councilor Pressley spoke about the importance of Boston in taking a stand to support its residents who face restrictions on abortion coverage and in solidarity with the women and trans people in the 33 states across the country that do not provide Medicaid coverage of abortion in calling upon the US Congress to pass the EACH Woman Act.
On September 29, 2016, the Philadelphia City Council, led by Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Councilwoman Helen Gym, unanimously passed a resolution calling for passage of the EACH Woman Act and for an end to state and federal bans on insurance coverage of abortion. In taking this action, the City Council joined its Board of Health, who passed a similar resolution in February 2013. The City Council featured moving testimony from advocates on the importance of passing this resolution.
On September 30, Councilwoman Nury Martinez led the Los Angeles City Council in a unanimous vote to call for passage of the EACH Woman Act and a repeal on bans on insurance coverage of abortion. Supported by the Los Angeles Coalition for Reproductive Justice, this resolution, passed on the actual 40th
anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, became the 11th
to call for such action. The press conference that followed featured testimony in both English and Spanish on the importance of ensuring that all people are able to access comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter where their insurance comes from.
On March 17, 2015, the Madison Common Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for increased funding for abortion care, citing the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin women who are denied insurance coverage of abortion. The National Institute worked closely with the resolution sponsor, Alder Lisa Subeck, providing background information, messaging and communications guidance, and links to local advocates. Hearing testimony from members of the Women’s Medical Fund, a local abortion fund, emphasized that repealing the bans on insurance coverage of abortion is part of the larger struggle against inequity that marginalized communities face.
On September 10, 2014, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution calling on federal lawmakers to repeal all bans on public insurance coverage of abortion, making Seattle the first jurisdiction in the Northwest to declare its support on this issue. Legal Voice
drafted the resolution and led the effort, with support and strategic guidance from the National Institute, and many other organizations participating in the resolution hearing.
On February 11, 2014, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a Resolution declaring February to be “Women, Girls, and Transgender Women’s Health Month” in the city. The resolution recognizing the full range of health care needs of these populations, including among its points language condemning efforts to block access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including insurance coverage for abortion, and encouraging all women, girls, and transgender women in San Francisco to obtain insurance through Covered California, the expanded Medi-Cal Program, or the Healthy San Francisco program. The resolution was supported by 25 women’s health and community groups, including the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Two Cambridge, MA, residents and activists from the EMA Fund learned of the resolutions passed in other localities and began working with the Cambridge City Council to replicate this success, passing a resolution on April 1, 2013. This resolution, developed in consultation with the National Institute, called for the reinstatement of abortion coverage and emphasized that such coverage is essential to ensuring socioeconomic status does not impact a woman’s health care access. Several local advocates testified in support of the resolution.
National Institute sister organization NARAL Pro-Choice New York
worked hand-in-hand with the New York City Council to pass a resolution on January 23, 2013, commemorating the 40th
anniversary of Roe v. Wade
and calling on the U.S. Congress to restore federal funding for abortion. Several other reproductive rights and justice advocates testified in support of the resolution, which passed unanimously.
The Philadelphia Board of Health unanimously passed a resolution supporting comprehensive reproductive health care coverage on February 14, 2013. Citing the direct impact of restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion on Philadelphia women, the resolution called on state lawmakers to vote against a state-level ban on abortion coverage and urged federal lawmakers to reinstate abortion coverage for every woman who needs it, regardless of the source of her insurance. Advocacy efforts were led by a local abortion fund, the Women’s Medical Fund, with hands-on support and guidance from the National Institute.
In Travis County, the Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution on January 22, 2013, marking the 40th
anniversary of Roe v. Wade
by affirming a woman’s right to access safe and comprehensive health care. It also urged state lawmakers to restore family planning funding in response to the legislature’s efforts to defund reproductive health care providers. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
and the Lilith Fund
received support and strategic assistance from the National Institute and testified in support of the resolution.