Top Obama Advisor Not Sure if Abortion Will be Included in National Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
March 12, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With President Barack Obama having already promoted abortion on several occasions, one of the upcoming battles concerns whether he will include abortion in a health care reform plan. A top White House officials says she’s not sure if that will happen.
Melody Barnes, the pro-abortion White House Domestic Policy Council Director, sat down with David Brody of CBN News and said she didn’t know whether Obama’s plan will feature abortion.
The pro-life community is concerned that the plan will provide taxpayer coverage for abortions and that insurance companies will be forced to include abortions in their health care plans.
We haven’t proposed a specifics benefits package or a particular healthcare proposal so we’re going to be engaging with Congress to have this conversation," Barnes said. "We haven’t had that conversation yet."
Barnes also didn’t know if Obama would press for Congress to remove the numerous pro-life riders that limit taxpayer funding of abortions, such as the Hyde amendment.
"I haven’t had that conversation with the president, so I don’t have an answer for you on that. I haven’t looked at his voting record or if he’s voted on that issue, and that would be a place to start," she told CBN News. "We haven’t had that conversation, but I’m sure in the days and weeks ahead that we will."
Barnes told Brody the so-called Freedom of Choice Act is a "non-issue" and not a bill President Obama is pushing. She appeared to not know the latest news about how two prominent pro-abortion members of Congress are planning to file the FOCA bill soon and make it a top priority.
"What we know, and what the president has said, is that Congress will determine, and I don’t even know if the Freedom of Choice Act has even been introduced this year, so when that issue and if that issue were to come before him, then he would make a decision about it," she told CBN.
"He’s spoken to that issue on the campaign, but now we’re talking about non-issues instead of issues that the president has been very clear he wants to address," she added.
Meanwhile, Barnes responded to Brody’s questions about pro-life concerns that Obama has stacked his White House administration with numerous abortion advocates.
Barnes claims Obama wants to work with pro-life groups to reduce abortions — a claim most pro-life groups have rejected as political rhetoric.
"I think during the course of the campaign and certainly since we’ve been in The White House, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a wide range of people from across the ideological perspective — people who are deeply religious like myself but may see things differently," she said.
"I think we have all been able to leave that room recognizing that we have something in common with one another," she said.
However, pro-life people never made it into the room with Obama, Barnes, or other top administration officials.
Obama shut out pro-life groups from attending last week’s health care summit to dialogue on how health care reform should be implemented. The White House had no problem inviting Planned Parenthood and other groups that support abortion.
Barnes still claims Obama wants a conversation on abortion.
"Well, I think first of all they would have to understand and he said it repeatedly that he does respect the varying views on these issues and he recognizes that people of good will do have different views, but at the same time one that he is willing to say I want to engage people," she claimed to Brody.
She contends Obama’s office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which features Obama apologists who are ignoring his pro-abortion record, "sends a strong signal that he is committed to working with and talking to people who may have views different from his own and again looking for those areas of common ground."
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