Obama Wants to Weaken Abortion Funding Ban in Health Care Reform Legislation
by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In an interview on Monday, President Barack Obama refused to support an amendment in the health care bill that would ban taxpayer funding of abortions. Obama said he didn’t want to change the "status quo" on abortion and added there is "more work to do" on the bill.
"I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill," Obama told ABC News. "And we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions."
Obama appeared to side with abortion advocates who claim the Stupak amendment in the health care bill somehow changes the current status quo on government abortion funding — which, under the Hyde amendment and other pro-life provisions is mostly banned.
There needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo on abortion, Obama added. And thats the goal.
Obama also sided with pro-abortion groups in saying he wanted to make sure we’re not restricting womens insurance choices, because he had promised that if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, its not going to change.
Ultimately, he said he wanted to weaken the Stupak abortion funding ban so that neither side feels that its being betrayed.
But his comments — which see him attempting to curry favor with both sides of the abortion debate — made it clear that he is siding with abortion advocates, because the ban clearly prohibits abortion funding.
I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test — that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we’re not restricting womens insurance choices, he said.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, chided Obama for his comments.
"The only thing that will prevent the health care bill from being ‘an abortion bill’ is precisely the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, as the House of Representatives recognized by a 46-vote margin," he said.
"The phoniness of Obama’s claim that he has been trying to preserve the ‘status quo’ on abortion policy should be evident to any observer by now. In reality, the White House and top Democratic congressional leaders have been working hard to create a national federal government health plan that would fund abortion on demand, just as Obama promised Planned Parenthood," Johnson added.
Obama’s comments came after his top spokesman Robert Gibbs repeatedly refused to say where Obama stood on the Stupak amendment.
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