Cambridge City Council Passes Resolution Calling for Access to Full Range of Reproductive Health Services

April 2, 2013
Contact: Tara Sweeney, 917-488-0094, [email protected]

Cambridge City Council Passes Resolution Calling for Access to
Full Range of Reproductive Health Services

Resolution was grassroots effort inspired by proactive local action in cities across the country

Last night, the Cambridge City Council passed a resolution commemorating the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and calling on the U.S. Congress “to support and maintain federal funding for family planning services that are critical to the health of women and families, and to reinstate coverage for abortion services for women enrolled in public insurance programs.”

“Massachusetts has long been a leader in promoting health and wellbeing for its residents,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health and former president of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “In asserting that a woman should have the same access to reproductive health care services regardless of where her insurance comes from, the Cambridge City Council has displayed a forward-looking sensibility to the needs of women and families. The federal government should follow Massachusetts’ lead again on this front.”

Cambridge is the latest city to pass a resolution calling for access to the full range of reproductive health services, following New York City, Travis County, TX, and Philadelphia. The National Institute’s Urban Initiative for Reproductive Health, which works with municipal policymakers and public health officials across the country, has been collaborating with advocates in several major U.S. cities to begin to demonstrate a critical mass of support for insurance coverage for abortion care. The Cambridge City Council resolution is the product of concerned Cambridge citizens who were inspired by the actions in these other cities, and connected with Cambridge City Councilor Marjorie Decker to get a similar action passed in Cambridge.

Advocates testified that federal prohibitions on insurance coverage for abortion discriminate against women who rely on federal insurance programs like Medicaid. Stephanie Poggi from the National Network of Abortion Funds spoke about the more than 110,000 calls for help from women last year who were struggling to make ends meet and could not cover the cost of an abortion.

Miller concluded, “As Arkansas and North Dakota join the ranks of so many other states actively creating every possible roadblock to undermine a woman’s ability to take care of themselves and their families, it’s inspiring to see that some policymakers are still committed to ensuring that a woman’s access to the full range of reproductive health care options is not impeded by the kind of insurance she has. There is a growing movement to protect access to reproductive health care options, and insurance coverage is its newest frontier. We’re proud to be part of it.”