by Steven Ertelt
December 20, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — New York senator and possible 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says a measure Congressional Republicans are considering will increase abortions. This is the second time Clinton has claimed pro-life lawmakers are unintentionally raising abortions, though a Planned Parenthood study disputed her earlier claims.
The provision up for debate is a measure that would allow states to choose whether to offer family planning services under Medicaid, the national taxpayer-funded health care program for poor Americans.
Pro-life groups have long tried to place limits on the family planning portion of the program because much of the money goes to Planned Parenthood. They point to its annual report showing it performs 180 abortions for every one woman it refers to an adoption agency.
"I sadly predict that if this measure stays in the bill … the number of abortions will go up, the human and financial costs will go up, and many women will be really out of luck," Clinton said during debate on the Senate floor.
"We obviously have very strong opinions and deeply held convictions about abortion, but are we also divided about contraception and family planning? Are we not in this body committed to reducing the number of abortions? Apparently we’re not,” Clinton said.
Under current Medicaid rules, states are obligated to offer the tax-funded family planning program.
In January, Clinton accused President Bush of causing abortions to increase in parts of the country because he is not fully funding family planning programs.
"In the (first) three years since President Bush took office, eight states have seen an increase in abortion rates and four saw a decrease," she told a pro-abortion rally.
But, those numbers come from a flawed study conducted by a researcher who used faulty data to survey the rise or fall of abortions during the Bush administration. He later admitted some of the numbers were wrong.
And in a May 2005 study conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, abortions decreased nationwide under President Bush — by 0.8% in 2001 and by another 0.8% in 2002.
The abortion rate, the number of women having abortions relative to the population as a whole, also decreased 1% in 2001 and 0.9% in 2002.