More Democrats Tell Nancy Pelosi They Don’t Want Abortion in Health Care Bill
by Steven Ertelt
July 22, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A second group of Democrats have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they don’t want any abortion funding or mandates in the health care bill the House is considering. Pelosi received a first letter signed by 20 pro-life Democrats several weeks ago.
The new letter comes from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, a formerly pro-life lawmaker who is now working with abortion advocates on a fake bill that gives money to Planned Parenthood.
Three other Democratic lawmakers who sometimes vote pro-life also signed their names to the letter, including Dale Kildee of Michigan, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island and Artur Davis of Alabama.
"As health care reform legislation moves quickly through the three House committees and is considered by the full chamber over the next several weeks, we are increasingly concerned about potential roadblocks around the issue of abortion," the lawmakers tell Pelosi.
They say they "want to make sure that disagreements over this often-contentious issue don’t threaten the success of the final health care reform package."
"Therefore, we believe that a common ground solution is to include language in the final legislation that makes clear that no insurance company will be required to pay for an abortion except in extraordinary circumstances," the letter states.
However, the lawmakers also want the health insurance bill the House is considering to not prohibit insurance companies from "paying for an abortion, so long as health insurance plans offered in the exchange that choose to provide abortion coverage pay for those services with funds that are separate and distinct from any federal subsidies."
They say their solution keeps the status quo, where private insurance companies can determine on their own whether to pay for abortions without a mandate form the federal government.
The lawmakers also bring up another concern that pro-life advocates have been unable to get addressed in amendments to the various health care bills in the House and Senate.
"We believe that health reform legislation should not preempt constitutionally permissible state laws that establish pre-requisites that a patient must satisfy before obtaining an abortion, such as parental consent and waiting period laws," they said.
They conclude, "It is imperative that we reach some consensus on the issue of abortion in health care reform, so that we can move this critical legislation forward."
The previous letter Pelosi received from the group of 20 pro-life Democrats took a stronger position against abortion funding and mandates in health care restructuring.
"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 said last month. "We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan should not be used to fund abortion."
They told the House Speaker, "Plans to mandate coverage for abortions, either directly or indirectly, are unacceptable."
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.
"Without an explicit exclusion, abortion could be included in a government-subsidized health care under general health care," they wrote.
Related web sites:
Text of the first Democrats’ letter to Pelosi –
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