House liberals slam abortion limits in high-risk pools

A group of 21 liberal House Democrats on Friday warned the Obama administration that new limits on abortion coverage in high-risk pools will put vulnerable women in jeopardy of losing needed care.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the lawmakers argue the agency should be taking steps “to expand women’s access to care, and not narrow the scope of care available.”

“We are concerned that limiting the range of services that women can access will affect how women and their physicians make private medical decisions,” the lawmakers wrote. “Women with pre-existing conditions may be in medically vulnerable positions, when health considerations and life considerations are most intertwined and complicated.”

Earlier this month, the White House made waves by announcing that high-risk insurance pools — designed to cover sick Americans who have been denied private insurance — can’t cover elective abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy. 

That’s a more restrictive policy than that being applied to exchange plans, which can offer abortion services if the patient pays separately for that coverage.