Pro-Life Democrats Tell Nancy Pelosi: No Health Care Reform With Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
June 26, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A group of 19 pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives have joined together to craft a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The letter contained a non-perfunctory request that the House not advance any health care bill that doesn’t specifically prohibit abortion coverage or funding.
Rep. Dan Boren, a pro-life congressman from Oklahoma, organized the letter and is the lead signer of it.
"As the debate on health care reform continues and legislation is produced, it is imperative that the issue of abortion not be overlooked," they write. "Plans to mandate coverage for abortions, either directly or indirectly, are unacceptable."
"We cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan," the lawmakers say. "We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan should not be used to fund abortion."
The pro-life Democrats also want Pelosi to ensure that the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, a government panel the health care bills would establish, can’t recommend that abortions be included in the covered benefits.
The lawmakers agree with pro-life groups like National Right to Life, which have communicated to Congress that it will ask for opposition to any bill that does not specifically exclude abortion. Otherwise, abortions can be included at a later date.
"Without an explicit exclusion, abortion could be included in a government-subsidized health care under general health care," they write.
They also say that limits on abortion funding have been responsible for reducing abortions by one-third and that all sides in the abortion debate should be able to support that.
The lawmakers say that taking the promotion of abortion off the table makes it easier for Congress to put together a health care restructuring bill that works for everyone.
Some of the pro-life Democratic members of Congress who signed the letter include Bart Stupak of Michigan, Collin Peterson and James Oberstar of Minnesota, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, Gene Taylor of Mississippi, Jerry Costello of Illinois, John Murtha of Pennsylvania, and Mike McIntyre and Health Schuler of North Carolina.
Related web sites:
Text of Democrats’ letter to Pelosi
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