Confirmed: Senate Bill Removes Ban on Abortion Funding for Federal Workers
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — To fund abortions or not fund abortions, that is the question about a Senate bill that concerns the eight million federal employees enrolled on the government’s health care system. A media outlet that covers Congress claims the legislation doesn’t fund abortions but a pro-life activist says it does.
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.
Then, Jonathan Allen, a columnist for Congressional Quarterly, blasted pro-life advocates saying the concern "doesn’t exist."
But Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, says the longstanding ban on abortion funding in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) has been deleted.
Johnson says Senator Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, is responsible for removing the language preventing taxpayer funding of abortions for federal workers.
"In the subcommittee that he chairs, [the Senate] approved a bill that would repeal the ban on funding of elective abortions for federal employees," Johnson said.
Johnson finds it incredulous that, "at the same time," Durbin "has been on TV assuring the public that the Hyde Amendment will prevent the Obama-backed health care bills from funding abortions — which is untrue."
Johnson tells LifeNews.com that Durbin’s removing the abortion funding ban from the bill was a case of him putting the cart before the horse of the agenda of top pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
"The pro-abortion battle plan for this year is to win enactment of health care legislation that, through powerful but veiled provisions, will result private health plans being required to cover elective abortion, and massive new federal subsidies for such coverage," Johnson explains. "Then they plan to come back next year and dismantle the remaining barriers to government promotion of abortion, such as the Hyde Amendment."
"As in a war, however, sometimes individual units get carried away and get out in front of the general’s line of battle, and that is happening in Congress right now. Some pro-abortion lawmakers just can’t restrain their urge to attack pro-life policies," Johnson added.
When Congress adopts the funding bill each year that covers the health insurance plan for federal workers, it has included an amendment from pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, to stop tax-funding of abortions.
A search of the new bill that Durbin’s panel crafted finds the Smith Amendment prohibiting taxpayer-subsidized abortions through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) has been deleted.
ACTION: Contact members of the Senate at 202-224-3121 or https://www.Senate.gov and oppose taxpayer funding of abortions for federal employees. Ask that the abortion funding ban be added back to S. 1432.
Related web sites:
National Right to Life Committee – https://www.nrlc.org
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