Republicans Want Networks to OK Response to Obama on Pro-Abortion Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
September 4, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — If President Barack Obama gets time on the national networks to promote his pro-abortion government-run health care bill, the top Republican in the House says his party should get a chance to respond. The request for time would be similar to the response the minority gets to the State of the Union address.
Obama will reportedly detail what he wants in a health care proposal in a speech next Wednesday night.
Aides to Obama say that he may not insist on the public option — the national health insurance plan run directly by the federal government that would open the door for massive abortion funding.
Today, House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, asked networks for a chance to respond to the Obama address, planned for 8 p.m. Wednesday.
"The opposing party has typically been granted this opportunity not only in the case of the annual Presidential State of the Union Address to Congress, but at other times when the President has come before Congress as well," Boehner wrote in a letter to ABC.
"For example, in 1993 when President Bill Clinton spoke to Congress on health care, the networks carried a Republican response from then-Governor Carroll Campbell of South Carolina," Boehner said, citing precedent.
The letter went to Robin Sproul, Washington bureau chief of ABC News who is the current network pool and handles requests for network coverage of the president and responses.
"I respectfully write to request time for a Republican response on ABC and the other television networks immediately following the Presidents address to a Joint Session of Congress next Wednesday,’ Boehner, who is pro-life, wrote.
"Given the importance of the health care debate, the American people should be presented with a balanced perspective, and that can only be achieved with a response on network television from a representative of the Republican Party," he said.
Regardless of what happens with the current measures — H.R. 3200 in the House, and the Affordable Health Choices Act (unnumbered) in the Senate — pro-life advocates will continue fighting to remove abortion and rationing or defeat the bill.
As the independent FactCheck.org recently noted, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.
Obama has said in the past that reproductive services would be covered by his public plan, so its likely that any new federal insurance plan would cover abortion unless Congress expressly prohibits that. Low- and moderate-income persons who would choose the public plan would qualify for federal subsidies to purchase it. Private plans that cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of federal subsidies," the analysis indicated.
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