Thursday, July 9, 2009

Abortion funding in health care reform

From NRLC's latest legislative action alert:
The Obama White House and Democratic congressional leaders are pushing for votes in late July on massive "health care reform" bills that contain sweeping mandates to expand access to abortion on demand, override state abortion laws, and establish federal funding of abortion.

These bills pose one of the greatest threats to pro-life policies since the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion in 1973.

Two Senate committees and three House committees are nearing the end of the process of crafting "health care reform bills" that would, among other things, result in mandatory insurance coverage of abortion on demand, federal subsidies for abortion, and mandated local abortion facilities. These bills will also allow the nullification of many state limitations on abortion.

The full House is expected to vote on its version of the bill at the end of July. Senate floor action could occur shortly thereafter.

So far, key Democratic lawmakers have unveiled two different health-care restructuring bills. The first, introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), started out over 600 pages long, and is currently going through the amendment process in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The second bill -- called the "Tri-Committee chairmen's bill" or the "House Democratic leadership bill" because it was jointly released by the Democratic chairmen of the three House committees with jurisdiction -- is over 800 pages long.

Both of these bills would empower panels of federal officials to mandate coverage of abortion on demand in virtually all health plans. Both of these bills would also result in massive federal subsidies for abortion on demand. Both of the bills would empower federal officials to order expansions of abortion providers in many areas of the country (referred to by pro-life analysts as the "abortion clinic mandate"), and to override at least some state abortion regulations. And they do all this without ever mentioning the word "abortion."
Pro-lifers must oppose any federal "health care reform" legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortion. Take action here.