Thursday, November 19, 2009

Senate Bill Funds Abortion, Gives White House Prerogative

The health care bill released yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempts to hide sizeable funding of abortion, and authorizes the Obama administration to decide on further funding, all under the "public option."

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-- From "Senate Wording Angers Abortion Opponents" by Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times 11/18/09

In seeking to fend off a major revolt by supporters of abortion rights, Democratic leaders in the Senate have infuriated abortion opponents with their new version of health care legislation.

The National Right to Life Committee called the Senate language “completely unacceptable.”

The Senate bill drops some of the restrictive abortion language that was part of the House health care bill. But it contains an ambiguous provision that could bar any government-run insurance plan, or public option, from providing abortion coverage.

The Senate bill says that no federal funding can be used to pay for abortion coverage, which is language that abortion-rights supporters have accepted for decades.

But it also says that any public option could not provide insurance for abortions unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services [Kathleen Sebelius] determined that a payment plan would not use federal money.

This provision to allow the health secretary to determine whether a payment plan passed muster seems open to interpretation. An administration that supported abortion rights could include plans that might be excluded by an administration that opposed abortion rights, and vice versa.

[The bill] seemed to satisfy some Senators who support abortion rights.
The Senate language is not likely to end discussion of abortion as part of the health care debate, but instead to provoke it further.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pro-Life Groups: Reid's Senate Health Care Bill Contains Massive Abortion Funding" by Steven Ertelt, Editor 11/19/09

"Reid has rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts Amendment and has substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson assured late Wednesday.

"Reid seeks to cover elective abortions in two big new federal health programs, but tries to conceal that unpopular reality with layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping requirements," he continued.

Johnson notes that Reid's bill establishes the public option and authorizes (on page 118) the Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program.

"This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it," he says.

Attorney Mary Harned of Americans United for Life, has also examined the abortion sections of Reid's new measure, which she says "provides for an unprecedented expansion of federally-funded abortion."

Harned says the bill does not reflect the principles of the Hyde amendment, which, since the 1970s, has been used to stop taxpayer funded abortions under Medicaid,

Reid's release of the bill comes after a new CNN poll showing a strong majority of Americans oppose government funding of abortions and oppose all or most abortions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.