Pro-Life Group Challenges Planned Parenthood to Debate Abortion, Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 30, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Challenges Planned Parenthood to Debate Abortion, Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 30
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life organization has issued a debate challenge to the nation’s largest abortion business to debate health care and abortion. The Family Research Council says Planned Parenthood won’t fully admit that the health care bills in Congress include tax-funded abortions and insurance mandates.

FRC president Tony Perkins told today that he is responding to attacks from Planned Parenthood and NARAL to his group’s new television commercial.

The new ad, which is set to run in stations in a handful of states with lawmakers who need to be lobbied, makes it clear that the bill, as written, would expand abortion.

He said, "In a letter sent today to Planned Parenthood’s President Cecile Richards, I challenged her to join me in a public forum to debate the question – Does the President’s health care reform plan include a mandate for taxpayer funded abortions?"

"Planned Parenthood says the plan doesn’t. I say, come to a debate prepared to prove it," Perkins added.

He explained how the current bills both the House and Senate are considering would open up abortion funding and insurance mandates unless specific exemptions are included.

"The various Democratic plans under consideration would invariably crowd out private sector insurance plans and impose new mandates upon them, including abortion if it is not specifically excluded," he said.

"House and Senate Democrats, with Planned Parenthood and NARAL support, have rejected all amendments to protect the Hyde Amendment and give families ownership of their health care plans. FRC is making their intentions plain, and this exposed truth is making the abortion lobby squirm," Perkins said.

Yet, in an interview with Politico earlier this month, Laurie Rubiner, vice president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood said, “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."

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."

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wrote in the email that Congress should be "including reproductive health care [abortion] in the reform package."

The truth, Perkins says, is that abortion advocates want abortion included in any health care package.

"Pro-abortion groups have all along expected to see mandated taxpayer funded abortions within President Obama’s health care plan, as the President promised them during the campaign to little public notice," Perkins continued.

"Now, strident statements yesterday by Planned Parenthood and NARAL show they may be getting a little nervous about not achieving their long-cherished goal – especially in a nation where the substantial majority of citizens do not want Uncle Sam paying for abortion," he said.

Perkins says his group advocates something that a majority of Americans would undoubtedly support but that pro-abortion groups adamantly oppose.

"There is a relatively easy answer to the problem. Take current law — the Hyde Amendment, which has been renewed every year for 33 years — make it permanent and ensure that it continues to apply to any publicly subsidized program," he said.

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