FactCheck Confirms Pro-Life Group Right on Obama Admin Funding Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 22, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

FactCheck Confirms Pro-Life Group Right on Obama Admin Funding Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 22
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new report issued by the respected FactCheck.org web site based at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania confirms the claims made last week by the National Right to Life Committee that the Obama administration had authorized abortion funding in three states.

The abortion funding would have come under the new health care plan President Barack Obama signed, except the Obama administration backed down after NRLC blew the whistle.

"We can see what caused abortion opponents to be concerned," the web site verified.

An official solicitation issued by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department specified that abortions "will" be covered if they are legal under Pennsylvania law, it explained. And according to news reports, a similar document in New Mexico listed "elective" abortions under "covered services."

FactCheck explains that the abortion funding was hidden by vague and undefined terms.

"It would be easy to miss the fact that Pennsylvania’s official solicitation called for coverage of all state-legal abortions. The press release issued by the state insurance department on June 28, announcing the new program, made no mention of abortion at all," it says. "Intrepid readers could click through to find the official solicitation document describing the program more fully, but it contained phrasing the casual reader could interpret as restricting abortion coverage rather than permitting it."

FactCheck notes what NRLC said at the time: namely that "Pennsylvania officials said the benefit package will include the following core of specific services …" followed by a long list that includes, on page 14, "only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of 18 Pa.C.S. § 3204-3206 and 35 P.S. §§10101, 10103-10105."

"Those are the sections of Pennsylvania law that cover abortion. So — when all the verbal smoke is cleared away — the solicitation states that the program "will" cover "only" abortions that are legal. That doesn’t leave out much," it continues.

FactCheck points out that the Pennsylvania program allowed abortions that a physician deems "necessary … in the light of all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age) relevant to the well-being of the woman."

The only abortions that the state law forbids a doctor from finding "necessary" are those "sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child," it said.

Pennsylvania officials have since said that in the haste to meet a deadline, "placeholder" language was inserted, to be adjusted later.

Although FactCheck concludes abortions will no longer be funded in the three states — relying on the promise from the Obama administration and state officials that it won’t happen – the web site clearly confirms abortion funding did exist before NRLC blew the whistle.


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