Pro-Life Organizations React to White House Health Care Summit, Abortion Talk

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Organizations React to White House Health Care Summit, Abortion Talk

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Several pro-life organizations have provided with comment about today’s White House Health Care summit. The event saw House GOP Leader John Boehner tell Barack Obama that abortion funding should be prohibited and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mislead attendees on the main bill.

Charmaine Yoest; President, Americans United for Life:

"The President’s proposal was a pro-abortion health care plan before today’s meeting and after six hours of political posturing, it’s still a pro-abortion health care plan.

Federal funding for abortion has become the deciding issue in this debate, and yet the issue was raised only briefly today.

Remarkably when Minority Leader Boehner highlighted the abortion funding in the bill, the President did not respond.

This has been his approach to the abortion issue throughout this debate: to evade the question or misrepresent the facts to the American people. Among other anti-life provisions, the President’s plan creates a first-ever ‘abortion tax’ to be paid by individuals participating in the health Exchange. The plan also includes $11 billion dollars of new funding for community health centers, some of which are abortion providers. And yet Speaker Nancy Pelosi today claimed falsely that ‘there is no public funding of abortions in this bill.’

Convening this summit, and broadcasting it on television, does not create truth in advertising. Six hours of contrived dialogue did not change the fact that this elaborate production of political theater was designed to hide the President’s true position on abortion in health care.

There is a very simple reason for this: Abortion is the bill killer.

72% of voters oppose federal funding of abortion. As they work to try to pass the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid will discover that their alliance with the abortion lobby alienates them from the mainstream of American opinion on this issue."

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee:

“Speaker Pelosi has her own idiosyncratic dictionary, in which federal agencies can pay for abortion on demand without spending "public funds" or "taxpayer funds" for abortion. In ordinary English, however, this is deceptive claptrap. Every version of the health care bill has contained multiple pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for abortion — except for the version that was fixed by adoption of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, over Speaker Pelosi’s objections.

But President Obama and Senator Reid succeeded in keeping that fix out of the Senate bill — indeed, the Senate produced a final bill that is the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation to reach the floor of either house of Congress since Roe v. Wade. It would result in direct federal funding of abortion through Community Health Centers, tax subsidies for private abortion plans that cover abortion (including some federally administered plans), and pro-abortion federal administrative mandates, among other problems.

The Ben Nelson language in the Senate bill is unacceptable, but most of the problems are entirely outside the scope of the Nelson language. If journalists want to really understand the degree to which abortion policy issues bear on the prospects for this legislation in the House, they need to abandon their misconception that the two bills differ on abortion only on one narrow issue that they can summarize in one sentence.”

Penny Nance; CEO, Concerned Women for America: “American women control 80 percent of the health care decisions made in this country? Most of us moms routinely are the parent who take our children to the doctor and are often the ones to make decisions for elderly relatives. This is one of the many reasons women have such an important stake in the outcome of the current national health care debates.

“A recent poll by The Washington Times and The Polling Company found that 57% of women disagreed that ‘a federally-run healthcare program is what is best for my family and me.’ That comes as no surprise to us here at Concerned Women for America (CWA). Our members have been speaking out all over the country in opposition to ObamaCare. We rallied this morning outside Blair House here in D.C. and will continue to the spread the word.

“The President’s proposal costing somewhere between $1 and $2 trillion is a bad idea on so many levels. He thinks the problem is that he did not explain it well enough. His real problem is that the American people can read. The vast majority of the American public oppose federal tax dollars for abortion. The Senate bill clearly violates the public’s conscience. I find it interesting that the Obama Administration has failed to recognize that the abortion issue was what ultimately caused the demise of the Clinton healthcare plan.

“This willful blindness is very frustrating. American women have had it. Our families count on us to be the Chief Health Officer and we must make sure our government represents our interests. What is being decided directly impacts the health of our family’s future and we are sick of ObamaCare.”

Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life of America: “I was amazed today as I followed the summit to see that one of the main reasons healthcare reform has not passed yet, abortion, was not addressed. We know that the president’s healthcare proposal released on Monday follows the language that passed the Senate in December allowing healthcare reform to be the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. The idea of tax payer funded abortions is not accepted by a large majority of the nation. I think Vice President Biden was right when, today, he questioned his ability to know what Americans think. Both he and Congressional leaders like Reid and Pelosi have demonstrated time and time again that they are out of touch with mainstream America."

Cathy Ruse, Family Research Council: "Finally, at approximately hour five of the Health Care Summit, one of the greatest potential deal-breakers was finally raised. Republican Leader John Boehner, at the end of his time, said that for 30 years we have agreed that there should be no taxpayer funding of abortion and that this bill, for the first time in 30 years, allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. President Obama then charged Boehner with reverting to “standard talking points” and saying things that “aren’t true, based on my analysis.”

If Obama’s “untrue” charge was directed in whole or in part to Boehner’s comments about tax-funded abortion, Obama was wrong. The Senate bill provides federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortions, authorizes plans to cover elective abortions, and funds community health care centers without any abortion restrictions in sections 1303, 1334, and 10503. Mr. President, it’s in there."

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