Pelosi Calls Pro-Life Democrats Liars, Third Abortion Funding Denial This Week

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 4, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pelosi Calls Pro-Life Democrats Liars, Third Abortion Funding Denial This Week

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 4
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — In a press conference today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied the abortion funding in the Senate health care bill for the third time in the last seven days. Reacting to a promise from pro-life Democrats to kill the bill over the massive abortion funding it contains, Pelosi essentially called them liars.

This morning,Rep. Bart Stupak said he and pro-life Democrats were prepared to vote against the bill because it funds abortions and contains other pro-abortion problems.

Pelosi got exasperated when a reporter asked at her weekly press conference about their unwillingness to support the bill over abortion.

“Let me say this: This is not about abortion! This is a bill about providing quality, affordable health care for all Americans,” she said, according to Politico.

Politico indicated Pelosi talked about ways in which the reconciliation bill could be used to attract votes from Democrats for the Senate health care bill, but she omitted abortion. That’s likely in part because the reconciliation bill can’t be used to strike the abortion funding.

“I will not have it turned into a debate on (abortion),” she said when asked a follow-up question about Stupak.

“Let me say it clearly: we all agree on the three following things. … One is there is no federal funding for abortion. That is the law of the land. It is not changed in this bill. There is no change in the access to abortion. No more or no less: It is abortion neutral in terms of access or diminution of access. And, third, we want to pass a health care bill," she said.

John McCormack, a pro-life writer at the conservative Weekly Standard, said Pelosi is lying about the abortion funding component of the Senate bill.

"Speaker Pelosi is not telling the truth. The Hyde amendment–the ‘law of the land’ banning federal funding for abortion in other programs–was left out of the Senate health care bill," he said. "The Senate bill includes three different provisions to spend taxpayer money on abortions."

This is the third time Pelosi has misled on the abortion funding.

Last Friday, she went as far as invoking the Catholic bishops to try to justify her misleading on abortion funding.

Before that, she told participants at the White House health care summit that the bill didn’t force abortion funding.

Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the pro-life office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put Pelosi’s myth to bed in response to the second set of falsehoods.

“While the Senate bill includes some language limiting the direct use of tax credits to subsidize abortion coverage, it still violates longstanding federal precedent on abortion funding in two ways," Doerflinger explained.

“First, the Senate’s abortion language limits only use of tax credits for abortion in qualified health plans, not other funding in the bill. For example, the bill authorizes and appropriates $7 billion for services at community health centers (increased to $11 billion in the President’s new proposal). The Hyde amendment does not prevent direct use of these billions of dollars for elective abortions (because the funds are not provided through the appropriations bill governed by Hyde); nor does any provision in the Senate bill," the pro-life Catholic leader said.

“Second, the Senate’s language on tax credits still allows subsidies for overall health plans that cover elective abortions, against the policy of the Hyde amendment and other longstanding federal laws. The bill requires each American purchasing such a plan to make a separate payment to the insurer every month, solely to pay for other people’s abortions. This is an enormous imposition on the consciences of the millions of Americans who oppose abortion," Doerflinger concluded in his statement.

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