Debates: Want to help pay for abortion?

A recent debate with a friend inspires this post on healthcare. He insisted that abortion will absolutely not be funded by tax dollars under the president’s plan. And the president says the same thing.

“You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true.”

The common wisdom says that if abortion isn’t mentioned, it will be covered. Unless it is explicitly banned from the legislation, it will be paid for under the president’s plan, eventually, if not right away.

So republicans and pro-life groups have repeatedly attempted to pass amendments that specifically exclude abortion from being covered under a public option (which would be funded by taxes, and hence the government). All such amendments have been voted down in committee. Hmm. Why would that be, if abortion wouldn’t be covered by tax money anyway?

A proposal by a pro-abortion democrat did pass recently, but two things stood out loud and clear to me. 1) Abortion providers like Planned Parenthood didn’t raise a stink, and 2) Pro-life groups did not give any sign of approval. If a provision had just passed that would genuinely help save lives, the pro-life lobby would have rejoiced. Simultaneously, abortion providers and supporters would have protested. Especially Planned Parenthood. They stand to make a lot of money should abortion be covered for those who could not previously afford it. Not only that, president Obama promised them in 2007 that his healthcare bill most certainly would include abortion or “reproductive care” as he called it.

In my mind, reproductive care is essential care. It is basic care. And so it is at the center and at the heart of the plan I’ve proposed…Essentially, what we are doing is to say that we’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It’ll be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services…We also will subsidize those who prefer to stay in the private insurance market, except the insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care.”

If Obama was all of a sudden backtracking on his promise to Planned Parenthood, they would be loudly reminding him of this.

Also raising red flags is this from a Reality Check article on the amendment’s passage:

“The vote was largely along party lines, with 6 Democrats lead by Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, of the Democratic Pro-life Caucus, leading the charge to defeat the amendment.”

Now why would pro-lifers be attempting to defeat the amendment if it was a magical cure-all of taxpayer-funded abortion?

Further analysis from the Family Research Council shows why. Capps’ amendment actually introduces abortion services into the law. They weren’t in the legislation at all before, and that was by design. Were the words “abortion” or “reproductive services” etc. not mentioned, they could later be added because they weren’t explicitly denied. Through this amendment, abortion is now officially on the table. And that’s why all of the amendments by pro-lifers were defeated, and why pro-lifers would oppose this amendment.

“The Capps measure would include both abortion coverage and funding in the ‘public option’ and the private plans that would be part of the bills’ ‘Exchange’ provision,” said FRC president Tony Perkins. “[E]ven those who claim abortion is not included cannot possibly deny that abortion is explicitly in the legislation because of the Capps amendment.”

And again, where is Planned Parenthood or NARAL decrying a breach of reproductive freedom? Their silence ought to be telling.

I have been encouraged as I’ve seen so many people speaking out against this massive overhaul of the best healthcare system in the world. And I believe more people would be speaking out if they knew what was in the bill.

Said Perkins (quoted in a story by the Catholic News Agency) “Seventy-one percent of Americans, according to recent polling data, do not want legislation to require insurers to cover abortion, putting the House legislation at complete odds with the will of those they are supposed to represent.”

Also encouraging is the large number of pro-life groups coming together to speak out against, and hopefully stop, this horrible legislation.   Here is a video of their effort.