HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Misleads on Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill
by Steven Ertelt
March 8, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius contradicted herself on abortion funding in the Senate health care bill in a Sunday interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press." Sebelius applauded the Senate language before and talked about mandatory abortion fees, but now she claims there is no funding.
Sebelius also appeared to contradict herself within the interview, saying at one point that abortion funding is a part of the government-run health care bill.
"There is no federal money paying for abortions," President Barack Obama’s top health care spokeswoman maintained. "That’s just not my statement, it is what, you know, a legal analyst who has looked at the Senate bill, it’s what the fact checkers who look at the statements say."
Yet, when she spoke with ABC’s "This Week" program yesterday, she said "Yes, abortion services are provided" under the Senate health care bill.
She tried to qualify her answer by adding, "people will pay out of their own pockets, in both the Senate and the House, but they do it in slightly different ways."
But in an interview on December 21 with pro-abortion BlogHer blogger Morra Aarons-Mele, Sebelius praised the Senate language that funds abortions and talked about how everyone would be forced to pay for them.
"And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of womens health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options [that pay for abortions]," Sebelius said then.
During that December interview, Sebelius agreed the language purportedly banning abortion funding in the Senate bill is merely an accounting procedure and that everyone would pay into the abortion fund.
"There would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything. It would be a separate account that everyone in the exchange would pay," Sebelius admitted about the abortion funding.
"It is a bit confusing. But its really an accounting measure that would apply across the board, and not just to women, and certainly not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage," she said then.
In the NBC interview on Sunday, Sebelius also claimed Obama doesn’t want abortion funding in the health care bill — despite his own proposals for changes to the bill expanding abortion funding.
"I don’t think there’s any disagreement. … Congressman Stupak and the president agree that there should be no federal funding for abortion," she said.
Sebelius also told NBC she thinks Rep. Bart Stupak is misinformed about the abortion funding.
"I think people will continue to talk to him," Sebelius added. "…I think he is misinformed about what the Senate language does but he wants comprehensive health reform. I know that he has this principled issue."
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