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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Pro Choice Groups Declare War on Anti-Abortion Amendment in Healthcare Bill
13 Nov 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Pro Choice Groups Declare War on Anti-Abortion Amendment in Healthcare Bill

Interview with Erin Matson, Action Vice President of the National Organization for Women, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

When the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill, the measure included what some advocates of abortion rights call the most sweeping abortion restriction in 30 years. Negotiations in the House had been ongoing for months to maintain the status quo, regarding no taxpayer funding for abortions as enshrined in the 1976 Hyde amendment, which denies poor women federal funding for abortions. But when House legislators adopted an amendment proposed by anti-abortion Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.), they expanded the abortion ban to cover subsidized insurance policies which women buy with their own money. Sixty-four Democrats voted with virtually all the Republicans in favor of the amendment, which passed 240 to 194. The Conference of Catholic Bishops had lobbied hard for the Stupak-Pitts measure.

Pro-choice advocates maintain that birth control and abortion are integral parts of women's health care needs and insist that health care reform should not be a vehicle to deny a woman's fundamental right to choose. Many of these groups are now pushing the Senate to pass a health care bill that does not adopt the Stupak-Pitts amendment and are urging President Obama not to sign any health care bill that restricts women's reproductive rights.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Erin Matson, the "Action Vice President" of NOW, the National Organization for Women. She discusses what the Stupak-Pitts amendment portends for reproductive services for millions of American women. And Matson explains what NOW and like-minded groups are doing to fight back.

Contact NOW by calling (202) 628-8669 or visit their website at

Related links:

* NARAL PRO Choice America at
* Planned Parenthood at
* Emily's List at

Real Audio:


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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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