White House Health Care Summit Won’t Unite Democrats, Republicans on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 24, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

White House Health Care Summit Won’t Unite Democrats, Republicans on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 24
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama invited top Republicans and Democrats to the White House for a health care summit tomorrow that is unlikely to produce any results. Democrats see the summit as a way to appear bipartisan and build support for the struggling pro-abortion health care bill that Republicans oppose.

Republicans, and polls showing a majority of Americans agree, see the summit as a glorified publicity stunt that won’t focus on health care reform that doesn’t promote abortion and rationing.

Obama didn’t help his cause earlier this week, as he unveiled his plan for changes to the existing Senate health care bill that is the bill Democrats are pushing through Congress. Obama left existing abortion funding in place and expanded it elsewhere.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell talked about that plan this morning on the Senate floor.

“Earlier this week, the White House unveiled its latest iteration of the Democrat plan for health care reform –and, to put it quite simply — it was a major disappointment," he said. “It was our hope that when the administration called for a health care summit at the White House it would be an opportunity for both sides to come together and start over. Now it’s perfectly clear the administration had something else in mind entirely.

“The plan we saw Monday is hardly a starting off point for a bipartisan discussion on common sense reforms. It’s really just more of the same: a massive government scheme with all the flaws of the previous proposals that the American people have already seen and rejected," he added.

Democrats on the other hand rejected calls from Republicans to start over with a bill that doesn’t fund abortions and has a better shot of getting support from both parties.

"This idea that we have to start with a blank sheet of paper is ridiculous," said Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat.

The names of the members of both parties participating in the white House summit reveals a clear pro-life divide — with Republicans all pro-life and Democrats pro-abortion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Reps. Rob Andrews of New Jersey, Xavier Becerra of California, Jim Cooper of Tennessee and Louise Slaughter of New York — noticeably leaving off the list Rep. Bart Stupak or any of the pro-life Democrats who are likely to vote against the bill in the House.

McConnell tapped GOP senators John McCain, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma — all pro-life advocates.

Leading pro-life groups have been asking pro-life advocates to contact members attending the summit to remind them they oppose funding abortions in health care.

"If President Obama is going full steam ahead with this radical, anti-Life legislation, we’ve got to get pro-life opposition leaders to stand up and hold him accountable on-the-record," Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said.

She said pro-life lawmakers "will have the chance to ask the President, directly and on national television, why he refuses to protect the lives of the unborn—and the consciences of millions of taxpayers—by adding the Stupak amendment to his proposal. One quarter of the President’s own party crossed the aisle to vote yes on the pro-life Stupak amendment."

Dannenfelser said pro-life advocates should contact these lawmakers and ask that they "demand of the president why he refuses to listen to the American people on abortion funding."

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