White House spokesman Robert Gibbs misled reporters today during his afternoon press briefing with a false claim that the Hyde amendment would prohibit taxpayer-funding of abortions in the Congressional health care bills.
UPDATE 10/8/09: More documentation of the lie
-- From "Obama Spokesman Falsely Claims Hyde Amendment Stops Abortion in Health Care" by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor 10/7/09
CNS News reporter Fred Lucas asked Gibbs, the top spokesman for President Barack Obama, about a letter the Catholic bishops recently sent Congress pointing out that each of the current health care bills includes abortion subsidies.
"In a letter to senators last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that, I'm quoting, 'So far the health-reform bills considered in committee, including the new Senate Finance Committee bill, have not met the president's challenge of barring the use of federal dollars for abortion,'" Lucas said. "Is that statement wrong?"
Gibbs replied, "Well, I don't want to get me into trouble at church, but I would mention there's a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion. That isn't going to be changed in these health care bills."
"There have been several amendments that would explicitly bar [federal funding for] abortions that were rejected," Lucas responded.
Gibbs replied, "Again, there's a fairly well-documented federal law that prevents it."
However, the fairly well-documented federal law is the Hyde amendment and it only applies to the Medicaid program that provides health care funds for poor Americans.
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