Abortion Advocates Met With Obama Admin During Obamacare Debate
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 5/2/11 11:29 AM
The White House has finally released documents related to secret meetings top Obama officials had with lobbyists and interest groups during the formulation of the Obamacare bill and the debate leading up to its passage.
The new documents reveal Nancy-Ann DeParle, the health care reform “czar” during the period of time when the White House worked with congressional Democrats on Obamacare, met with a wide range of lobbying groups and their representatives. While the Obama administration did not actively consider the opinion of pro-life groups concerned about abortion funding and rationing of health care, DeParle met with leading abortion advocates.
Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who is the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, requested the documents and they show DeParle met on November 11, 2009 — at the time abortion funding was one of the thorniest questions related to the health care legislation — with top pro-abortion groups. She met with representatives of 13 organizations that support abortion, including NARAL, NOW, Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List.
The documents do not show the topic of conversations during the meetings, but the organizations likely complained about the Stupak amendment the bill contained at the time (that was later defeated in the Senate) that stopped abortion funding under the legislation.
The day after the meeting, the pro-abortion legal group Center for Reproductive Rights launched a new advertising campaign calling for the removal of the amendment.
A few days later, on November 15, top Obama advisor David Axelrod confirmed Obama would work with congressional Democrats to remove the abortion funding ban the House approved in its version of the government-run health care bill.
Yet, according to a report in the Daily Caller, Obama’s top layer, Robert Bauer, defended the Obama administration’s one-sided meetings.
“The administration took unprecedented steps to engage the American people and the Congress in a discussion about health care, resulting in historic reform,” Bauer claimed.
As LifeNews.com previously reported, visitor logs the White House made public in February 2010 showed he and his administration allowed the Planned Parenthood abortion business unfettered access to the White House and top staffers. They show Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards visited the White House and spent time with Obama administration officials on four occasions.
The documents show Obama wasted little time in giving Richards access, with her first visit coming on January 20 — the date of Obama’s inauguration — for a luncheon reception with 299 total people.
Richards’ next visit appears undocumented in the visitor logs.
The Obama administration put together a White House health care summit in March 2009 which saw Richards and Planned Parenthood invited to promote abortion while pro-life groups were left out.
The visitor logs also reveal Richards attended a private meeting with Obama administration staff on June 6 and July 7.
The June meeting saw 28 people gather at an event coordinated by Valerie Jarrett’s White House Office of Public Engagement. Kathleen Richardson, who headed the public-relations offensive designed to woo groups to support the health care bills, coordinated the meeting. The logs don’t reveal how long Richards stayed.
The July event had Richards in a one-hour private meeting with Tina Tchen, the executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, which pro-life advocates say is promoting abortion on a worldwide level. The meeting likely included discussion of plans for Tchen to appear at a Planned Parenthood event held just two weeks later.
The logs also show Richards met privately with Anita Dunn, the then-White House communications director, for almost an hour on October 28.
That’s the day House Democrats unveiled the House version of the pro-abortion health care bill prior to the Stupak amendment that banned abortion funding.