Indiana Senate Hopeful Ellsworth Accused of Misleading on Health Care, Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 2, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Senate Hopeful Ellsworth Accused of Misleading on Health Care, Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 2
, 2010

Indianapolis, IN ( — Indiana Senate candidate Brad Ellsworth is facing criticism from a state pro-life group that says he is misleading Hoosiers on the ObamaCare bill Congress approved. Ellsworth says the bill does not contain abortion funding, but Indiana Right to Life disputes his contention.

Ellsworth told Louisville’s WAVE news on Monday that he could vote for the government-run health care bill in part because it doesn’t fund abortions.

"After hundreds of hours of debate, as a pro-life member of Congress I was comfortable voting for the bill, and that the bill did not spend one penny of taxpayer’s dollars on an abortion," he said.

But Mike Fichter of Indiana Right to Life says pro-life experts view the legislation much differently.

"Senate candidate Brad Ellsworth is now misleading Hoosiers on the abortion problems with the federal health bill he supported," he said in an email to "Unfortunately, Ellsworth’s statement is at complete odds with pro-life analysis of the bill, including that of the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)."

Fichter points to a factsheet the USCCB compiled saying what virtually every pro-life group said during the health care debate: "For over three decades this policy has been reflected in the Hyde amendment to the Labor/HHS appropriations bill and many similar laws. In key respects the newly enacted “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” does not follow this longstanding policy."

The USCCB says the ObamaCare bill appropriates $7 billion over five years (increased to $9.5 billion by the companion bill) for services at Community Health Centers. These funds are not covered by the Hyde amendment or by the bill’s own abortion limitation in Sec. 1303 (as that provision relates only to tax credits or cost-sharing reductions for qualified health plans, and does not govern all funds in the

The USCCB says the health care bill uses federal funds to subsidize health plans that cover abortions.

"Sec. 1303 limits only the direct use of a federal tax credit specifically to fund abortion coverage; it tries to segregate funds within health plans, to keep federal funds distinct from funds directly used for abortions. But the credits are still used to pay overall premiums for health plans covering elective abortions," it notes.

It also points out ObamaCare mandates that insurance companies deciding to cover elective abortions in a health plan “shall… collect from each enrollee in the plan (without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex, or family status) a separate payment” for such abortions.

"While the Act says that one plan in each exchange will not cover elective abortions, every other plan may cover them — and everyone purchasing those plans, because they best meet his or her family’s needs, will be required by federal law to fund abortions. No accommodation is permitted for people morally opposed to abortion," USCCB says.

Ellsworth, a Democrat, faces pro-life Republican candidate Dan Coats in the Senate race to replace pro-abortion Sen. Evan Bayh.

Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life –


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