Pro-Life Group Renews Planned Parenthood Debate Challenge on Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Renews Planned Parenthood Debate Challenge on Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 3
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Family Research Council is renewing its challenge to Planned Parenthood to debate whether or not the government-run health care bills Congress is debating cover abortions. FRC released a television ad blasting abortion’s inclusion and Planned Parenthood has been on the attack ever since.

Planned Parenthood has aggressively attacked FRC since it released the television ads and its president, Cecile Richards, continued the attacks on Monday.

In a scathing editorial appearing in the pro-abortion blog Huffington Post, claiming, "Family Research Council has never been known to let the facts get in the way of good, old-fashioned hysteria."

Richards claims it is a myth that taxpayer money would be used to pay for abortions in the government-run health care plan.

"Opponents of reproductive health care are trying to make you think that the public plan is a government-funded health plan like Medicaid or Medicare — it is not," she asserts. She says it "would operate like any private insurance plan would. Therefore, there is no reason to treat any coverage issue, including abortion coverage, differently in the public health insurance plan than in private plans."

FRC president Tony Perkins calls that "misleading."

"Actually, under the current plan being debated in the House, the decision would be made by bureaucrats, not medical experts, through either an Advisory Council or the Secretary of Health and Human Services," he says.

As a result, language is needed in the bill to prevent the council or Secretary from declaring that abortions are covered and paid for with tax money.

"Additionally, both bills self-appropriate funds and thereby bypass annual
appropriation bills and thus the Hyde Amendment," he says. "Also, government financing of abortion has always been funded unless explicitly excluded."

Perkins challenged Richards to debate the health care bills and whether they pave the way for abortion funding. Richards has yet to respond and Perkins is renewing his challenge.

"Last week, I couriered a letter to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards inviting her to debate the question of taxpayer-funded abortion and whether or not citizens would be forced to fund abortion under the current health care reform bills," he told

"The nation’s largest abortion provider continues to make public accusations that FRC’s latest commercial on health care reform is misleading," Perkins continues. "In it, we warn Americans that the current proposals will lead to an abortion mandate–something Planned Parenthood has actively lobbied for."

He concludes: "Planned Parenthood’s accusations continue to mount but I have yet to receive a response to the invitation to debate the question of taxpayer-funded abortions. Planned Parenthood says abortion funding isn’t there. I say, come
to a debate prepared to prove it."

Related web sites:
FRC letter refuting Planned Parenthood –

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