White House Mtg Doesn’t Alleviate Concerns Over Abortion Funds in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
September 17, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The head of one of the nation’s most prominent pro-life groups met with White House officials on Thursday to discuss health care and abortion funding. Charmaine Yoest tells LifeNews.com that the meeting didn’t alleviate any of the concerns her group has with the three main bills in Congress.
Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and White House Director for Public Liaison Tina Tchen, both of whom are strong abortion advocates, met with Yoest and AUL Action staff counsel Mary Harned.
"After the meeting, we remain deeply concerned about abortion funding and the abortion mandate in health care reform," Yoest said.
"Barnes reiterated the president’s statement from his address before Congress," that he doesn’t want abortion funded under the bills, she added.
"Unfortunately, the reality on the Hill right now is a health care package that does include abortion funding," the AUL leader continued. "Without a specific statutory amendment that includes an explicit ban on federal funding and coverage, we face health care reform that does include abortion.
Yoest said, "Including abortion in health care is something the pro-life movement is mobilized to oppose vigorously."
The AUL Action president said she and Harned discussed the Capps Amendment to the House bill, HR 3200, which has been described by pro-life groups as opening the floodgates to abortion funding. The Obama staffers wanted to know why pro-life advocates opposed the language but did not say much in response.
They did not discuss the abortion funding found in the new Baucus bill and Barnes and Tschen gave no indication whether Obama will support the Baucus bill.
Before the meeting, Yoest told LifeNews.com she hoped to "take the message to the White House that real health care respects life," to the Obama administration.
"Abortion is not health care, but without an explicit, proactive exclusion of abortion, the courts will impose an abortion mandate just as they did with Medicaid," she explains.
"The abortion lobby is using health care reform to try to end-run around the Hyde Amendment which has been a thorn in their side. Their ultimate objective is to define abortion as basic health care which Americans do not support," Yoest said.
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