Planned Parenthood Denies Health Care Bills Would Include Abortion Mandate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 22, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Denies Health Care Bills Would Include Abortion Mandate

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 22
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Officials with the nations largest abortion business are taking a duplicitous stance on abortion and health care in what is shaping up as a monumental debate in Congress. In private emails to activists, Planned Parenthood is demanding that abortion be included in any health care restructuring bill.

Yet, in a new interview, a top Planned Parenthood staffer denied that abortion would be included.

Laurie Rubiner, vice president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood talked with the political news web site Politco about the bills Congress is considering.

“Abortion is not mandated any more than any other service or procedure in health reform. It would be left to the insurance companies to decide whether or not they want to offer it, which is the same as under current law,” she claims.

That is a completely different message than Planned Parenthood is telling its members and supporters in emergency emails saying they must respond to "outrageous attacks on health care reform by anti-choice groups."

"They’re spreading lies about health care proposals, attacking Planned Parenthood, and doing everything they can to hijack health care reform. We can’t let them get away with it — if they succeed, a generation of women will see their access to [abortion] jeopardized," Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wrote in the email sent out today.

Richards contradicts Rubiner by saying that abortion must be a mandate in the health care restructuring bill.

She urged her supporters to tell members of Congress that abortion "must be covered in any health care reform legislation."

"Women must not be worse off after health care reform than they are today — that means including reproductive health care [abortion] in the reform package," she concluded.

Leading pro-life groups have made it clear that any final health care restructuring bill covers abortions unless there is a specific exclusion. That’s because it would be up to the Obama administration to determine whether taxpayer-funded abortions and insurance mandates on abortion are included.

The tri-committee House health care bill that is the main legislation, HR 3200, authorizes additional Medicaid/CHIP funding, which Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates to be $438 billion over the next ten years.

However, the bill also authorizes the purchase of what the CBO estimates to be $773 billion over the next ten years in health care premiums and cost-sharing costs for individuals and families whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid/CHIP.

"H.R. 3200 contains no limitation whatever to prevent the use of any of these funds to pay for elective abortion and to pay for insurance coverage of elective abortion," National Right to Life’s Douglas Johnson explains in analysis provided to

"H.R. 3200 would certainly result in federal funding of elective abortion on a huge scale."

With CBO estimating that 73 million people would be covered either by Medicaid or by the federal premium subsidies, "this would result in a great increase in the number of abortions – a result directly contrary to Barack Obama’s promises to pursue policies that would reduce abortions," Johnson says.

Although some backers of the health care restructuring bill in the House say the Hyde amendment would prevent abortion funding, Johnson says that’s not the case.

"This is a dodge. The Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but merely a ‘limitation amendment’ that is patched on to the annual appropriations bill for Health and Human Services," Johnson says.

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