Pro-Life Groups: Reid’s Senate Health Care Bill Contains Massive Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 19, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups: Reid’s Senate Health Care Bill Contains Massive Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 19
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Two leading pro-life organizations that have analyzed the new 2,000-page government-run health care bill released by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late yesterday say the legislation contains massive abortion funding and a fake amendment that does not truly ban it.

The Senate health care bill does not contain the Stupak amendment the House approved that stops abortion funding under the public option and affordability credits.

Instead, the measure contains a slightly-reworded version of the much-maligned Capps amendment, which a House committee approved on a partisan vote and which pro-life groups say is an accounting scheme to hide government-funded abortions.

"Reid has rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts Amendment and has substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson assured late Wednesday.

"Reid seeks to cover elective abortions in two big new federal health programs, but tries to conceal that unpopular reality with layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping requirements," he continued.

Rep. Lois Capps, whose amendment was deleted when the House adopted the Stupak language, has applauded Reid’s language.

"It appears that their approach closely mirrors my language which was originally included in the House bill," she said in a statement.

Johnson notes that Reid’s bill establishes the public option and authorizes (on page 118) the Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program.

"This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it," he says.

He also says the bill creates the affordability credits — new tax-supported subsidies to purchase private health plans — and that these government-funded credits can be used to purchase health insurance plans that directly pay for abortions.

Attorney Mary Harned of Americans United for Life, has also examined the abortion sections of Reid’s new measure, which she says "provides for an unprecedented expansion of federally-funded abortion. "

"The bill includes pro-abortion language and mirrors the false compromise Capps Amendment from the House debate — it allows the public option to include abortion coverage and provides federal subsidies for private plans which cover abortion," she said.

Harned says the bill does not reflect the principles of the Hyde amendment, which, since the 1970s, has been used to stop taxpayer funded abortions under Medicaid,

Instead, she points out how pages 116 through 124 in Senator Reid’s new health care bill will require a plan that covers abortion in every insurance market, allow HHS to cover abortions through the public option, and create new tax-funded subsidies to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, has said he will offer an amendment to the bill that will read much like the Stupak measure in attempting to ban abortion funding.

However, Hatch will need 60 votes to move past a pro-abortion filibuster of his amendment and he will not likely get a sufficient number supporting his amendment. As a result, pro-life groups are likely to increase their efforts to oppose the entire bill because of the abortion funding as well as rationing and end-of-life concerns.

Reid’s release of the bill comes after a new CNN poll showing a strong majority of Americans oppose government funding of abortions and oppose all or most abortions.

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