Why Health Reform Must Protect Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion Care: A Mother Speaks Out (VIDEO)

Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America released a video featuring Tiffany Campbell, a mother of three from South Dakota, who tells the story of her personal experience with a complicated pregnancy and abortion, an experience that was both emotionally and financially challenging for Tiffany and her family. (You can read Tiffany’s first person account of her story published last year on RH Reality Check.)

In 2006, Campbell was pregnant with twins when her doctor told her she had a serious complication called twin-to-twin syndrome. Her doctor advised her that the only real hope to save one of the twins was to have a selective abortion. Tiffany and her family agonized over the decision, and ultimately chose to do what was necessary to save one of the twins. Today, that baby is a healthy three-year-old boy.

Fortunately, Campbell had health insurance. But even her insurance did not fully cover the complicated procedure, and the family was left with thousands of dollars of debt.

As congressional leaders and the White House push for a final vote on health care reform, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) continues to threaten to bring down the entire bill unless the Stupak abortion coverage ban is adopted. Analysts have concluded that both the Stupak abortion coverage ban in the House bill and the Nelson abortion provision in the Senate bill would lead to the elimination of private health insurance coverage for abortion.

“Under the Stupak Amendment,” says Campbell, “my son would have died and I would have buried two babies instead of one.”

“Tiffany Campbell’s story is a wake-up call to all women who might one day face a complicated pregnancy,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “If Congress restricts private health insurance coverage for abortion, women with complicated pregnancies making the most difficult personal and medical decision of their lives would likely face costly medical bills they cannot pay. Every member of Congress should listen to Tiffany tell her story, before they vote to restrict private health insurance coverage for abortion.”