House Panel OKs Fake Pro-Life Amendment That Funds Abortion in Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 31, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House Panel OKs Fake Pro-Life Amendment That Funds Abortion in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 31
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A House of Representatives committee, late Thursday, approved a phony “compromise” amendment to the health care legislation it is considering. The amendment, sponsored by an abortion advocate, gave the impression that it would stop tax-funded abortions in the health care bill but, in reality, would allow it.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been considering its version of the House government-run health care plan, H.R. 3200.

Rep. Lois Capps, a California Democrat, proposed an amendment that she claimed was a "compromise" between pro-life advocates and abortion proponents.

The amendment explicitly permits the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, pro-abortion advocate Kathleen Sebelius, to include abortion in the services offered by public option and requires abortion coverage in the government health plan if the Hyde amendment is ever reversed.

HR 3200 authorizes taxpayer-funded affordability credits and he Capps amendment specifically requires taxpayer subsidies to flow to plans that include abortion, but creates an accounting scheme designed to give the impression that public funds will not subsidize abortion.

The Capps amendment also requires that a plan that includes abortion be made available in every region of the country.

Despite bipartisan opposition from Republicans and some pro-life Democrats on the committee, the panel approved the Capps amendment on a 30-28 vote. (Click here for vote listing.)

Pro-life advocates are very disappointed by the vote and worry that abortion advocates can use the Capps amendment to make a phony claim that this version of the House health care restructuring bill does not fund abortions.

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, told that the health care bill continues to open the door for abortion funding and insurance mandates for abortions.

"The Capps amendment — the latest refinement of the phony ‘common ground’ campaign — would result in elective abortion being part of the ‘public plan’ created by the bill," he said.

The Capps amendment "would ensure federal funding of private plans that include elective abortion (under a bookkeeping scheme), and contains other pro-abortion provisions."

Johnson said no rational observer could conclude that Capps was trying to limit abortion funding given that National Right to Life has cataloged 74 votes Capps has cast during her career to promote abortion or stop attempts to limit abortions. She has never cast a pro-life vote, according to NRLC records.

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