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Abortion Funding Is In Health Care Reform Bills. Hyde Amendment Won’t Stop It.

  • Hyde Amendment’s federal funding ban applies to HHS and Medicaid only.

  • Media reports abortion in bill-AP, TIME, Washington Times, Factcheck.org etc.

  • All amendments to exclude abortion have been defeated. 

  • Obama & abortion rights advocates said bill would include abortion. 

  • Court precedent will make abortion an essential benefit if Congress doesn’t exclude abortion.

  • Abortion rights Democrats say abortion is in bill. Capps amendment uses abortion 16 times.

  • Will result in largest increase in abortion since Roe v. Wade if abortion not excluded.

  • Pro-life Harry Reid says he could support health care plan funding abortion.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 3, 2009

Contact Don Nelson, Nevada LIFE, 775-530-0029

The following statement can be attributed to Nevada LIFE President Don Nelson:

President Obama and other abortion supporters are accusing pro-life advocates of “bearing false witness,” “lying” and spreading “misinformation” for claiming that the health care reform bills in Congress include and fund abortion.  Others have falsely reported that the Hyde Amendment will stop abortions from being covered through any health care reform bill.  Abortion is in the health care reform bills and unless explicitly excluded, will result in the largest increase in abortion since Roe v. Wade

1. The Hyde Amendment is a yearly patch and applies only to funding through health and human services and covers Medicaid.  Other prohibitions, like the ban on federal funding for federal employees, the military, Indian health care and others, are covered by separate amendments.  The Hyde amendment will continue to be necessary, but will not stop funding through health care reform.  It will fund these plans directly, just as the AP reported August 5, 2009, the "health overhaul would create a stream of federal funding not covered by the [Hyde] restrictions.”

2. Various media have reported that abortion is in the bill including the AP, TIME, Factcheck.org, The Washington Times and more.  The AP says "health overhaul would create a stream of federal funding not covered by the [Hyde] restrictions. TIME reports “The health-care reform proposed by House Democrats, if enacted, would in fact mark a significant change in the Federal Government's role in the financing of abortions.”  FactCheck.org says, "Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans."

3. House and Senate committees have rejected all amendments to explicitly exclude abortion. 

4. President Obama says abortion will be central to health care. Obama told Planned Parenthood that "reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the center, the heart of the plan I propose." Private insurers will "have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care..."  Obama will appoint members to a “health choices commission” and appoint a “health choices commissioner” to declare abortion as an “essential benefit.” 

5. Court precedent indicates that unless abortion is explicitly excluded as an essential benefit, the Courts will interpret the broadly worded mandatory categories of coverage to include abortion.

6. Abortion supporting legislators also say abortion is in the bill. Abortion rights supporting Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren says abortion is in the bill and should be. Lois Capps wrote it into the House bill using the word abortion sixteen times. Senator Mikulski said the Senate bill “would include women's health clinics that provide comprehensive services…. It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.” Medically appropriate means “anything a doctor and a woman construe to be in her best interest, whether prenatal care or abortion.”

7. Many of the people calling pro-lifers liars have previously said that abortion was in the bill or that the bill would be a good way to get abortion covered. Congressman Chris Smith's dear colleague letter, "Abortion Advocates Say Health Care Restructuring Covers Abortion," quotes these abortion advocates. (The Obama Administration says “reproductive services” includes abortion).

NARAL Pro-Choice's Nancy Keenan "if, indeed we can advance a panel or commission, then I am very optimistic about reproductive health care being part of this entire package."

Planned Parenthood's Cecil Richards: "I think the big picture here is how do we make sure that all women and families, regardless of their income, can get access to the full range of health care options, and I think health care reform is going to provide a platform for doing that."

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice's Carlton W. Veazey, "Let there be no mistake, basic healthcare includes abortion services." See Smith's letter for more quotes.

These same advocates are now accusing opponents of taxpayer funding of abortion of lying because they have run afoul of the American people-71 percent oppose federal funding of abortion and forcing health care plans to cover abortion.  Opponents of taxpayer funding are being called liars for taking the words of our opponents seriously.

8. Senator Harry Reid claims to be pro-life but says “he could” support a national health care bill that provided coverage for abortion.  Reid knows this bill supports abortion and his support for a bill that would lead to the largest increase of abortions since Roe v. Wade destroys any credibility to Reid’s claims to be pro-life.

Abortion is in the health care reform bills and the Hyde Amendment won’t stop it.  It’s time for the President of the United States and abortion advocates to stop calling their opponents liars for taking their own words seriously.  President Obama and abortion advocates could solidify their claims that abortion will not be covered by the bill by supporting an amendment to exclude it.  Unless abortion is explicitly excluded from health care reform, it will lead to the largest increase of abortions since Roe v. Wade and reverse the decades' long progress in reducing abortion.  

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