by Steven Ertelt
August 1, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill today that would significantly impact the abortion debate in the nation. The measure would undermine a current policy allowing states to provide medical coverage for pregnant women and their unborn children and could open the door for tax-funded abortions.
In 2002, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation to allow states to cover mothers and their unborn babies under the SCHIP program for poor residents.
Pro-life groups applauded the decision by the Bush administration because it recognized both mother and unborn child as patients in a pregnancy and helped remove financial incentives that lead some women to consider abortions.
The Democrat-controlled House is considering the CHAMP/SCHIP bill (HR 3162) today, which overturns the Unborn Child Rule and makes it so only the mother receives coverage — not the unborn child.
Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican, attempted to fix the problem during the committee consideration of the bill, but pro-abortion House Democrats adjourned the Energy and Commerce Committee meeting on the bill before his amendment could be offered.
They also issued a rule for debating the bill today that prevents Pitts from offering the amendment during consideration of the measure on the House floor.
The Senate is also considering reauthorization of SCHIP and the bill under consideration in the Senate also covers pregnant women alone without providing medical care for unborn children.
Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, tells LifeNews.com he’s concerned that adopting the new regulations on SCHIP could pave the way for taxpayer funded abortions.
"The new House bill’s ‘pregnant woman’ rule seeks to deny the existence of the child in utero while still covering the adolescent mother," Perkins explained. "This is a calculated move to open the door to federal taxpayer-funded abortions. This is a calculated move to open the door to federal taxpayer-funded abortions."
"In the 17 states that now fund elective abortions (14 of them are forced to do so by court order) this coverage could be used as a license to kill," Perkins added. "If liberals succeed, a popular program once intended to save children’s lives would now be directly responsible for ending them."