Pro-Life Champion Chris Smith Criticizes Fake Abortion Funding Compromise
by Steven Ertelt
November 4, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Congressman Chris Smith, the leading pro-life lawmaker in the House of Representatives, is criticizing a potential "compromise" that supporters say would remove abortion funding from the health care reform bill but would actually allow that to continue.
As LifeNews.com reported on Tuesday, normally pro-life Rep. Brad Esllworth is working with abortion advocates on language they are billing as a compromise.
The goal is to secure more votes from pro-life Democrats to approve the pro-abortion health care bill.
In an email to LifeNews.com today, Smith calls the "back-room deals and horse-trading" a move by pro-abortion Democratic leaders "desperate to win over pro-life Democrats who are opposed to abortion provisions in the health care reform legislation" and "nothing more than legislative gimmicks that will do nothing to prohibit federal support and the expansion of abortion coverage in America."
The new language does nothing to change the fact that the public option will be authorized to pay for abortion, the head of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus said. "If they truly want to keep abortion out of the health care bill, they must accept the Stupak-Pitts amendment that says clearly and plainly that there can be no funding for abortion and no government subsidies for plans that cover abortion."
Smith says the new language merely uses accounting ploys to hide the federal funding of abortions.
The new language makes clear that abortion will be included in the public option. Under the new arrangement, instead of an HHS employee issuing blood money checks for elective abortions, HHS will pay a contractor to issue checks for abortion on demand," he explained.
It is a distinction without a difference, Smith said. The public should not be fooled nor should any pro-life Democrat."
True health care reform respects and protects human life. Instead this legislation uses gimmick after gimmick in an effort to hide the radical pro-abortion agenda tucked into the nearly 2000 pages of legislative text," he continued.
Because the main House health care reform bill contains a two-part abortion funding apparatus, Smith said that if H.R. 3962 becomes law, we will see the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade."
The HR 3962 health care bill sets up the public option — a government-run health care plan that will pay for abortions — and it funds abortions by giving members of the public affordability credits that can be used to pay for abortions.
Led by Rep. Bart Stupak, a pro-life Democrat from Michigan, pro-life groups were hoping Pelosi would allow a vote on an authentic amendment that would curb all abortion funding in the bill.
Pelosi has proposed rules for debate on the health care bill that prohibit Stupak from offering his amendment. Instead, Democratic leaders will put forward a rule that will contain language crafted jointly by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a pro-abortion stalwart from Connecticut, and Ellsworth.
The National Right to Life Committee has already labeled the Ellsworth language a phony compromise.
National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson emailed LifeNews.com Tuesday morning and confirmed that, even with the Pelosi-backed amendment, the new federal government insurance program, the "public option," would still be explicitly authorized to pay for all elective abortions by language on page 110 of the bill and the federal premium subsidies ("affordability credits") could still be used to purchase private health plans that cover elective abortion.
"This language is intended only to wrap the pro-abortion provisions in additional layers of concealment. The latest version being circulated contains a money-laundering scheme that is truly laughable," he said.
The "Ellsworth Amendment" has been independently analyzed by experts at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and at the House Pro-Life Caucus as well.
Their conclusions regarding its substantive (non)effect are fully consistent with those reached independently by NRLC and Congressman Smith.
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