Bill would severely limit access to important reproductive health services for women, particularly women of color and immigrant women.
January 20, 2011 (Washington, DC) — The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), and the Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP) strongly oppose H.R.3, which was introduced in the House of Representatives today.
H.R.3, also known as the Smith Bill, would strip a woman of her right to decide which options best suit her health care needs. Access to abortion is critically important for women of color and immigrant women who are of low-income. Presently, 25% of low-income women who want to choose abortion can’t because the federal government refuses to pay for it. If passed, this bill will continue denying coverage for abortions.
In addition, under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges. The Smith Bill could disrupt those plans and extinguish abortion services altogether. Abortion is a legal and preventive procedure—a part of a women’s reproductive health options when she is pregnant.
H.R.3 also adds cruel restrictions for survivors of sexual violence. It narrows the definition of rape to solely being a forcible act and incest to involving only minors.
The bill title indicates that it is the third-highest prioritized bill for the new House majority. NAPAWF, NLIRH, and RHTP are extremely disappointed that the new leadership is playing politics with women’s bodies instead of focusing on jobs and the economy. <<read more>>