Abortion-rights foes and supporters squared off last week, with each side announcing campaigns to advance their views in the healthcare reform debate.
Planned Parenthood said it would spend $10 million on a campaign promoting healthcare reform that includes abortion coverage. The effort will combine television and print media advertising with a grass-roots educational push, said Pamela Maraldo, the organization's president.
"We will flood the Congress with postcards. We will sponsor community forums across the country," Ms. Maraldo said.
The group supports President Clinton's healthcare reform plan as the one that's "most responsive" to pregnancy-related services, including abortion, Ms. Maraldo said.
Concerned Women for America, which opposes abortion, said it would counter the Planned Parenthood campaign with a grass-roots effort to convince lawmakers that abortion coverage should be excluded from reform legislation.
Under the Clinton plan, "every taxpayer, employer and employee would be coerced by the power of government to financially support an unprecedented, proactive abortion policy," said Laurie Tryfiates, director of legislation and policy at CWA, which has 600,000 members nationwide.
CWA "vehemently rejects any healthcare plan which does not explicitly exclude abortion coverage," Ms. Tryfiates said in a statement.