Abortion Is Health Care Resolution

Summary: The Abortion Is Health Care Resolution would demonstrate the jurisdiction’s commitment to quality health care for all residents, including abortion care as a vital component of any health care system.

Model Legislation

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Resolution shall be called the “Abortion Is Health Care Resolution.”

SECTION 2. RESOLUTION

Whereas, [the jurisdiction] is committed to a quality health care system that meets the needs of all of its citizens and affordable abortion care is an essential component of this health care system. Since about three in ten women will have an abortion in her lifetime, it is one of the most common medical procedures in the United States; and

Whereas, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the United States. Aspiration abortion, for example, causes no complications in 99 percent of cases, and medication abortion causes no complications in more than 99.9 percent of cases, making it safer than Tylenol, aspirin and Viagra; and

Whereas, abortion has become less accessible. The number of abortion clinics has declined by about 40 percent over the past three decades. Today, almost 90 percent of counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider and 38 percent of women of reproductive age live in those counties. Four states have only one provider and at least ten states have three or fewer providers; and

Whereas, abortion is an essential component of health care because it provides all women the ability to plan and space their pregnancies which clearly improves women’s physical, psychological and economic wellbeing. For example, evidence shows that women who have a wanted abortion are better able to maintain a positive future outlook and achieve their aspirational life plans. Similarly, evidence clearly demonstrates that if a woman seeks an abortion and access is delayed or denied, she is at greater risk of experiencing adverse health and economic outcomes; and

Whereas, abortion is an essential component of health care for women with lower incomes. A five-year examination of the effects of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives by ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health) found that the main reason women terminate their pregnancies is because they can’t afford to have a child; and

Whereas, abortion is an essential component of health care for women who face medical problems, for example, a woman who is diagnosed with cancer in the middle of pregnancy and must make a choice between obtaining an abortion or forgoing lifesaving chemotherapy; and

Whereas, abortion is an essential component of health care for young teenagers who become pregnant, for example, a girl who must make a choice between obtaining an abortion or running the risk of enduring severe, lasting damage to her physical health; and

Whereas, abortion is an essential component of health care for women who experience major problems in pregnancy, for example a woman who finds out that her fetus would only live for a few hours past birth and carrying that pregnancy to term might severely damage her ability to bear other children in the future; and

Whereas the practice of abortion care, like all health care, should be driven by evidence-based standards developed and supported by medical professionals. But instead, patients and providers are required to overcome numerous barriers erected by abortion opponents. These barriers—waiting periods, so-called “counseling” requirements, bans on insurance coverage, limits on who can perform abortions, and TRAP laws—are not intended to protect a woman’s safety, they are designed to coerce women into giving birth to unwanted children. They serve no purpose other than to make abortion more difficult and expensive.

Whereas, when abortion opponents argue for onerous regulations and procedures, they are treating abortion care as if it is a separate issue apart from health care. But abortion is, in fact, health care.

Be it therefore RESOLVED, [the jurisdiction] is committed to ensuring that:

  • Abortion shall be recognized as an essential component of women’s health care; and
  • Abortion care shall be made affordable and accessible throughout the [jurisdiction] and integrated into the health care safety net; and
  • State, city and county health departments shall promote policies and take steps to increase access to abortion care; and
  • Both public and private health insurance shall cover abortion care; and
  • Facilities providing abortion care or health care professionals providing abortion care shall not be subjected to regulations more burdensome than those imposed on facilities or health care professionals that provide medically comparable procedures; and
  • All qualified health care professionals shall be able to provide abortion care; and
  • Health care professionals providing abortion care shall be able to follow best medical practices developed and supported by scientific evidence.

SECTION 3. DATE

This resolution was signed on XXXX 1, 2016.

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