Media Dismisses Concern of Taxpayer-Funded Abortions for Federal Employees
by Steven Ertelt
July 24, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A bill in the Senate could force taxpayers to pay for the abortions of the eight million people enrolled on the federal government’s health care system. Though pro-life advocates have concerns about reversing a long-standing ban on the taxpayer-funding of abortions, one media outlet is dismissing them.
As LifeNews.com reported last week, the Senate Financial Services Appropriations bill, S. 1432, would have Americans fund abortions for employees of the federal government.
When Congress adopts the funding bill each year, it has included an amendment from pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, to stop tax-funding of abortions for federal employees in their health care plans.
However, a search of the new bill that Senate Democrats crafted finds the Smith Amendment prohibiting taxpayer-subsidized abortions through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) has been deleted.
Jonathan Allen, a columnist for Congressional Quarterly, blasted pro-life advocates saying the concern "doesn’t exist."
"Republican and Democratic foes of abortion are so worried about taxpayers footing the bill for terminated pregnancies under a health care overhaul that they are starting to see signs of encroachment on abortion limitations where they don’t exist," he claimed.
"The clearest instance is a hypercharged reaction to the absence [of the abortion funding ban]," he continued.
Allen says the concerns are unwarranted because the abortion funding ban "has always been a House provision."
"Typically in recent years — as is the case this year — the Senate bill has been silent on the matter and the House provision has been included in the final law," he said.
Though Allen dismisses the concerns, one unnamed aide to a Republican senator says pro-life members of the Senate won’t allow overturning the ban on abortion funding for federal employee abortions.
"It won’t come to senate floor without a fight," the aide said. "Taxpayers don’t want to pay for abortions for federal employees.
Allen’s blog post on the CQ web site attacked pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, who also highlighted the concerns about the bill.
She responded, "I’m not clear on why Allen went out of his way to mock the pro-life community as hypersensitive – as if there were no reason to be, even if that were true in this case."
"Nevertheless, Allen got it backwards. A Senate committee led by rabid pro-abort Dick Durbin passed a funding bill that deleted a provision banning taxpayer funded abortion from the federal employees health care plan – thereby proposing a change in current law to permit it," she explained.
Stanek said Allen ignores the fact that pro-life President George W. Bush made repeated threats to veto any Congressional spending bills that overturned laws preventing abortion funding. With pro-abortion President Barack Obama in office, Stanek says the pressure is on Congress to keep the funding bans in place.
"The fact is, this year of all years it would be stupid to dull our senses to a repetitive Senate maneuver to gut a law prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions for 8 million federal employees," she says.
"After all, Obama heralds the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program as a model for healthcare," Stanek concludes.
ACTION: Contact members of the Senate at 202-224-3121 or https://www.Senate.gov and oppose taxpayer funding of abortions for federal employees.
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