Abortion Advocates Upset by Dogged Pro-Life Campaign on Health Care Bills

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Upset by Dogged Pro-Life Campaign on Health Care Bills

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 21
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s biggest abortion advocacy groups are "frustrated" and "disheartened" by the debate over abortion funding in the health care reform bills, according to a new AP report today.

The news agency talked with a slew of pro-abortion activists who are also upset with President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats.

The pro-life movement has worked overtime to expose the abortion funding in each of the three main health care vehicles in Congress, HR 3200 and the Kennedy and Baucus bills.

It has led to millions of phone calls, emails and letters to members of Congress and numerous amendments, though they have all been defeated so far.

Stephanie Poggi of the National Network of Abortion Funds, which gives women money for abortions but not to carry a pregnancy to term, expressed the frustration.

"I’m profoundly disappointed," she told AP. "We felt health care reform is supposed to be about expanding care, not expanding inequality."

Terry O’Neill, the new president of NOW, said she is upset with Obama and colleagues who she says are backing down on abortion funding — even though all three bills contain abortion subsidies and mandates.

"It makes me really angry," she said. "They’re just wrong if they think compromise on abortion will bring more Republicans on board. The voices insisting upon exclusion of abortion services will not vote for meaningful reform anyway."

Poggi agreed and said what some abortion advocates may be thinking but reluctant to vocalize.

She told AP "what we’re being offered is not enough" in terms of abortion funding and complained Obama had "traded many women’s futures away" when he told Congress in his health care speech that he doesn’t want abortion funding in the health care bill.

Of course, what most pro-life groups note is that Obama was likely being disingenuous as his record shows he expanded taxpayer financed abortions overseas during his first week in office.

Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat who is one of the top pro-abortion activists in Congress, admitted that not only does she want abortion funding in the health care bills, but she wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which stops abortion funding in Medicaid.

"That’s also my long term goal, but practically speaking we don’t have the votes to do that right now," she said.

Laurie Rubiner, Planned Parenthood’s vice president for public policy, said weeks ago she wanted Hyde overturned, but told AP she the abortion business is backing off, for now.

"We have to make some pragmatic choices about what we think is best overall to make sure these women have the best access to care," she said.

And NARAL’s policy director, Donna Crane, closed out the interviews with AP by bashing pro-life advocates for supposedly holding up improvements in health care over abortion funding.

"It’s not suitable or helpful to fight the abortion question in health care reform," she said. "We’re becoming increasingly perplexed and alarmed by the other side, which seems willing to take any legislative hostage to advance its agenda."

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