Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stupak, pregnancy, and insurance coverage

We were sent this today:

Will the Stupak Amendment Affect Insurance Coverage for Miscarriages? I Think So

No surprises here, right? For sure it is another example of how anti-choice amendments such as the "personhood amendment" can impact all pregnant women, even those who are not seeking an abortion.

When I was in labor with my son, I was given limited options. My doctor required me to be lying flat on my back for delivery, and I was basically confined to the bed during labor. I was eventually taken to the OR for a cesarean which I agreed to after being told I "needed" one.

Fast forward a month or so. I'm a new mom, single, young, broke, and getting by with nothing more than the committed care of my mother. I had fantastic health insurance, however, and was able to have what I came to call "mac daddy pre-natal care." That didn't stop my insurance company from denying coverage for the cesarean I "needed" to have.

What happened was, after laboring for about 6 hours, my obstetrician told me I needed to deliver soon. I was scared for my son's life, exhausted, and fuzzyheaded from the epidural. So I said okay. Turns out the c-section had been noted as "elective" in my charts. When I called the doctor she told me it had to be noted that way since there was no medical emergency or even medically-indicated reason to cut me open! Shocked, exhausted, and still recovering from the c-section that I'd endured over a month prior, I ended up paying for half the surgery out-of-pocket.

People assume reproductive rights activists are all about abortion access. While we do work for abortion rights and abortion access, we do it under an umbrella of protecting reproductive health care in all its facets. Just as we connect pregnancy and birth rights with abortion rights, attacks on abortion rights and abortion access will almost always affect those who want to be pregnant and have a say in the way they choose to birth.

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