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Fri Nov 27, 2015, 01:19 PM

Martin O’Malley Pitches Universal Reproductive Health-Care Coverage.

This week on the presidential campaign trail, Martin O’Malley released his health-care platform promising universal contraceptive coverage, Marco Rubio shifted his position on allowing exceptions to abortion bans, Hillary Clinton suggested that the Helms Amendment be reevaluated, and Republicans convened in Iowa to complain that their attacks on abortion aren’t gaining traction because of political correctness.

Martin O’Malley Releases Health-Care Platform Promising Support for Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services

Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley released his health-care policy platform Tuesday, promising to expand health coverage to more Americans and pledging support for universal reproductive services.

Center to O’Malley’s platform is a goal of insuring 95 percent of Americans by the year 2020, which he proposes achieving in part by: building upon the precedent set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the expansion of Medicaid in states that have so far refused to expand it; addressing high deductibles; and implementing a series of fixes to the ACA as it currently stands.

O’Malley’s plan features a promise to “support universal access to reproductive health care” in order to help people “make the best possible choices for themselves and their future.” To that end, the presidential candidate advocates universal access to both prenatal care and family planning.

The plan outlines how O’Malley “will adopt early access to comprehensive prenatal care as a major quality measure for health systems and states, as a percentage of all births. He will also provide funding and hold states accountable for providing quality prenatal care for those who are uninsured,” should he be elected.

It also details his intention to push states to be held accountable for ensuring access to reproductive health care for their residents, which would “include equity in access to long-acting reversible contraception, and support for education so that women can make choices for themselves based on complete and accurate information.”

O’Malley’s plan did not address whether abortion care would be included in his push to ensure access to reproductive health services.

Another priority listed in O’Malley’s platform would be to tackle health disparities for “underserved communities [who] suffer disproportionately from poor health outcomes” through the restoration of funding to community health centers in order to promote access to health services.

Marco Rubio Shifts Position on Abortion Exceptions: “I, As President, Will Sign a Bill That Has Exceptions” . .

Clinton Suggests Reexamining Law Banning Foreign Assistance Funds From Paying for Abortion

Speaking at a campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that the United States should reexamine a law that bans foreign assistance dollars from paying for abortions.

After a member of the audience of an Iowa town hall event asked Clinton about her position on the 1973 Helms Amendment, which says, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” Given that rape is increasingly being used as a weapon of war, Clinton commented the law may need to be worked around, reported CNN.

“I do think we have to take a look at this for conflict zones,” said Clinton. “And if the United States government, because of very strong feelings against it, maintains our prohibition, then we are going to have to work through nonprofit groups and work with other counties to … provide the support and medical care that a lot of these women need.”

In August, congressional Democrats urged President Obama to reinterpret the Helms Amendment, asking for guidance to be issued clarifying that exemptions to the law could be made “in the events of rape, incest, or a danger to a woman’s life,” calling the current interpretation “both overly restrictive and inconsistent with established legal precedent.”

Democrats again took up the cause in October, explaining in a letter to the president that women in war zones face a reproductive health crisis. “We write to express our deep concern for the reproductive health of women and girls who are kidnapped, enslaved, tortured, raped, and impregnated in conflict-affected zones worldwide,” wrote the senators before asking the law be relaxed. “We encourage you to take this opportunity to ensure that the U.S. is correctly implementing the Helms Amendment.”

Republicans Blast “Political Correctness” for Interfering With Their Campaign to End Abortion

Seven Republican presidential candidates gathered in Iowa on Friday in an attempt to woo evangelical voters at influential anti-choice advocate Bob Vander Plaats’ Presidential Family Forum. >>>


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