Setting the Record Straight on Catholics United and Pro-Abortion Health Care
by Marjorie Dannenfelser
August 19, 2010
LifeNews.com Note: Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee dedicated to supporting pro-life candidates.
Catholics United, a group that strongly supported the campaign of pro-abortion president Barack Obama, sent disruptive protesters to our Votes Have Consequences stop in Erie, Pennsylvania where local pro-life activists called out Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper for selling out Pennsylvania values by providing a key vote for the passage of Obamas health care bill.
The protestors led by James Salt, Director of Organizing for Catholics United and close associate of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius (an avid pro-abortion activist and cheerleader of late-term abortionist George Tiller) followed the bus as it made additional stops in Meadville, Grove City, and Butler.
It is important to note that during the health care debate, Catholics United actively opposed efforts to add Hyde amendment language to the bill to ensure taxpayer dollars wouldn’t be used to pay for abortions in health care legislation. From the start to the end of the debate, Catholics United worked to undermine the efforts of honest lawmakers working to protect the unborn, their mothers, and the conscience of American taxpayers.
So it comes as no surprise that Catholics United is now doing everything they can to undermine our efforts to educate pro-life voters as the mid-term elections draw near.
Catholics United protestors claimed the SBA List is lying about funding for abortion in health care because of an executive order issued by President Obama.
The problem with their argument is that the executive order doesn’t hold any legal weight, isn’t worth the paper its written on, and does not even attempt to address all the funding problems in the bill.
The executive order reiterates the accounting gimmick under which federal subsidies will be used to pay for insurance plans that cover elective abortion that Rep. Bart Stupak the leader of the Democrats who sold out objected to in a December press release: the segregation of funds to pay for abortion is another departure from current policy prohibiting federal subsidy of abortion coverage.
For proof that the executive order did not ban federal funding of abortion in the health care bill, look no further than Pennsylvania, site of our rallies and Catholic United’s protests.
Just over a month ago, on July 13th, HHS approved $160 million in federal taxpayer funding for Pennsylvania to establish a new high-risk insurance pool program that would cover any legal abortion in the state.
Only after the National Right to Life Committee and other pro-life groups and lawmakers very publicly protested the funds did HHS decide to ensure the taxpayer subsidized plan wouldn’t include elective abortion.
But in assurances to pro-abortion groups, White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle wrote in a blog post, is not a precedent for other programs or policies given the unique, temporary nature of the program and the population it serves.
So, it wasn’t the executive order that made the difference, only a very public outcry only because pro-life groups were paying attention.
Thus, decisions made on whether abortions will be covered in taxpayer-subsidized health care will be decided on a case-by-case basis by President Obamas appointees to HHS, not his executive order. And even if the executive order had any weight, it could easily be reversed by future presidents.
Instead of an executive order, Dahlkemper and other once pro-life Democrats could have held their ground and demand the insertion of statutory Hyde language permanently banning the health care bill from funding abortion. Of course, Catholics United opposed Hyde language, saying it went too far.
Stupak and Dahlkemper folded their cards, caved to party bosses, and now they are learning the consequences of their actions. Stupak has already retired, and our Votes Have Consequences project with your continued support is ensuring that every voter that cares about the protection of the unborn in Kathy Dahlkempers district knows she sold them out. And they’ll remember in November.
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