Sebelius Says Obama Will Change Bill to Ban Abortion Funding, Pro-Lifers Doubtful

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 14, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sebelius Says Obama Will Change Bill to Ban Abortion Funding, Pro-Lifers Doubtful

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 14
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In a weekend interview, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said President Barack Obama wants a change in the language of the main House health care "reform" bill to ensure it doesn’t allow taxpayer-funded abortions. However, a pro-life group that has exposed the abortion funding is doubtful that will happen.

At issue is HR 3200, the government-run health care plan that includes the Capps Amendment that would open the door for massive abortion funding in both the public option and the tax subsidies for people to purchase health insurance.

Sebelius told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s "This Week" program that Obama will go beyond the very weak limits Capps Amendment to make sure there is no abortion funding.

“So you are saying that he will go beyond what we have seen in the House and explicitly rule out any public funding for abortion?” the host asked Sebelius.

“Well that’s exactly what the President said and that’s what he intends that the bill he signs will do," she responded. "I think the legislative language will reflect what the President has just said."

Sebelius pointed to recent comments from the office of the nation’s Catholic bishops saying it is encouraged that Obama says he will not fund abortions in the health care bill.

“In fact recently the Catholic bishops came out, after the President’s statement saying that his statement about what he intends in the plan that no public funds would go to fund abortion and the fact that he has come out firmly for insuring all Americans and saying that it’s a moral issue as well as an economic issue and they endorsed moving forward," she said.

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of National Right to Life, quickly responded in an email to saying he doubts Obama will follow thorough on his rhetoric.

"For months, the President, his staff, and his congressional allies have misrepresented actual language in their bills that would result in government funding of elective abortions," he said.

"The latest statements by Mr. Obama and Ms. Sebelius are most likely a continuation of their strategy of denial, evasion, and distortion. We say, watch what they do, not what they say," he said.

"Unfortunately, everything we have seen so far would suggest that President Obama’s latest so-called ‘pledge’ not to provide ‘federal funds’ for abortion, articulated in the joint session speech on September 9, was just the latest in a series of highly misleading statements on the subject," he continued.

Johnson says Obama and pro-abortion Democrats in Congress can claim that the Capps Amendment makes it so there is no abortion funding because they regard the premiums Americans pay into the government plan as "private" funds not taxpayer dollars.

However, as private tax dollars become public funds once they are sent to the government, premiums become taxpayer dollars once the federal government collects them and, in turn, uses them to pay for abortions in the health care plan.

Related web sites:
National Right to Life –

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