As an obstetrician-gynecologist, I agree with the editorial board that HB 818, a bill that prohibits Pennsylvania's insurance exchange from offering health plans that cover abortion care, will place low- and middle-income women with unplanned pregnancies in a double bind ("A Blow to Women: Legislature Dishonestly Curbs the Right to Choose," June 11).
In my practice, I see many women who will be abandoned by this new legislation, including women with planned, desired pregnancies, who experience serious pregnancy-related complications. I recently saw a woman and her husband after a second trimester ultrasound revealed that their baby had a life-threatening abnormality. The couple was devastated -- after several years of infertility they thought they would finally have the family they dreamed of. After coming to terms with the diagnosis and the decision to proceed with terminating the pregnancy, I had to inform them that their insurance, just like the plans that will be offered under Pennsylvania's new insurance exchange, did not cover abortions except in the case of rape, incest or threat to maternal life. As a result, they had to pay $10,000 out of pocket for necessary medical care.
I urge Gov. Tom Corbett to consider the health and well-being of Pennsylvania's women and families and to veto HB 818.
RACHEL B. RAPKIN, M.D.