Abortion-rights group sees tough political terrain

An abortion-rights group gave 19 states failing grades for women’s reproductive rights policies in a new report card released Friday morning and warned that Republican gains in 2010 could hurt its agenda.

“It is clear that the results of the 2010 elections could pose serious threats to the progress we celebrated in previous years' reports,” wrote NARAL president Nancy Kennan. “Some of our key pro-choice champions in Congress and in the states are not returning to their positions.”

While the NARAL Pro-Choice America report card said Republican gains in 2010 could hurt the group's agenda, it criticized the healthcare reform law for including "alarming new restrictions on women's access to abortion care." The group also criticized the Obama administration for issuing regulations banning abortion coverage from temporary high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. Further, the report said five states have passed laws prohibiting abortion coverage in state health-insurance exchanges that were created by the reform law.

The report comes as anti-abortion groups have been trying to show their clout with a new Republican majority in the House. The groups have been pushing hard for the Republican National Committee to elect a like-minded chairman today, and the GOP selected their favored pick, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee's Health subcommittee.