White House Reality Check Web Site Still Silent on Abortion in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
August 31, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration released a new web site earlier this month supposedly debunking myths opponents are using to criticize the government-run health care plan he supports.
Though President Barack Obama himself has accused pro-life advocates of lying about abortion funding in the bills, the White House web site was silent on the subject.
"You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion," he said recently. "Not true."
Three weeks later, nothing has changed at the Reality Check web site (which replaces the controversial [email protected] email address), even though the web site has been updated several times since its initial launch.
A refutation of the analysis from pro-life groups and several media outlets that the legislation includes abortion funding still doesn’t exist on the site.
Dan Gilgoff, a reporter on faith-based issues for U.S. News and World Report, noticed the omission.
"It’s a stunning omission, given how much the government-funded abortion allegation has dominated this month’s congressional town hall meetings on healthcare reformand given that President Obama himself has called the charge a myth," he writes.
Gilgoff thinks he knows why the White House would "ignore such a big elephant in the room."
"I can think of two possible reasons," he writes. "The first is obvious: The abortion-in-healthcare-reform debate is one the administration would rather avoid, lest it consume the entire debate over reform."
"The other is that the White House sees the abortion-in-healthcare question very much as an open one and is still weighing options on exactly how government-controlled healthcare ought to treat abortion," he adds.
The web site, a page on the White House web site dubbed "Reality Check," features Obama staffers and administration officials rebutting some of the criticism of the government-run health care plan.
At the time of its launch, Douglas Johnson, the National Right to Life Committee’s legislative director, told the Baptist Press that Obama doesn’t want to focus the public’s attention on the pro-abortion components of the House and Senate health care bills.
"The president is evading questions on the issue because he does not want to draw public attention to the sweeping pro-abortion provisions that are in the bills," he said.
"Both Senate and House bills would, for example, create a nationwide federal insurance plan, the ‘public option,’ that would pay for all abortions," Johnson said. "Also, both bills would create a huge new program that would subsidize private plans that cover elective abortion.
"Unfortunately, much of the institutional news media is helping Obama hide these provisions by disseminating unsophisticated and often flatly inaccurate descriptions of what the bills contain," he told Baptist Press.
Three House committees have approved the main House health care bill, HR 3200, and one panel adopted a phony amendment that purports to ban abortion funding but actually allows it under a complicated accounting scheme.
The Senate has already approved language allowing abortion funding and repeatedly defeated pro-life amendments to stop it.
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