Charmaine Yoest, the President and CEO of Americans United for Life, recently wrote an editorial in the March 4 edition of the Wall Street Journal about the health-care proposal that is headed for a Sunday vote in the House of Representatives. One of the reasons the bill has been delayed in its return to the House is that a group of Democrat senators are withholding their approval based on the bill’s abortion language. As you may recall, when the bill passed in the House earlier this year, attached to it was a provision known as the Stupak Amendment. In simplest terms, it said that no federal funds would be used to pay for abortions. This amendment was proposed by Michigan representative Bart Stupak, a Democrat.
When the bill went to the Senate and was approved there, the Stupak amendment was not part of the bill. Another form of that amendment, not as strong in its terms, was a part of the bill. Likewise, the reconciled bill, written by the White House, has language similar to the Senate version. In her editorial, Yoest argues that this kind of deception is deliberate by President Obama and his administration:
Over the past year, language similar to the Hyde Amendment [banning federal funding for abortions] was crafted by Reps. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R., Pa.) and inserted into the health-care bill that passed the House. When asked about the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in November, Mr. Obama talked around the issue. He said that “there is a balance to be achieved that is consistent with the Hyde Amendment.” When asked if Stupak-Pitts struck this “balance,” the president replied “not yet.”
That’s an odd reply. The question of abortion funding doesn’t have any Zen to it: The funding is either prohibited or it’s not.
In November, presidential adviser David Axelrod, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” also talked around the Hyde Amendment, saying that the president “doesn’t believe this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion.” But then Mr. Axelrod claimed that “this shouldn’t be a debate about abortion” before concluding that there were discussions in Congress about “how to adjust [the abortion language bill] accordingly.”
Apparently, his definition of “adjust” means opening up the spigot for the abortion lobby. The president’s latest proposal mirrors legislation that has passed the Senate, which doesn’t include a Hyde Amendment, and would inevitably establish abortion as a fundamental health-care service for the following reasons:
• It would change existing law by allowing federally subsidized health-care plans to pay for abortions and could require private health-insurance plans to cover abortion.
• It would impose a first-ever abortion tax—a separate premium payment that will be used to pay for elective abortions—on enrollees in insurance plans that covers abortions through newly created government health-care exchanges.
• And it would fail to protect the rights of health-care providers to refuse to participate in abortions.
The president’s plan goes further than the Senate bill on abortion by calling for spending $11 billion over five years on “community health centers,” which include Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions.
The president, in his zeal to get this bill passed, feels comfortable saying that there is a lot of misinformation out there. Perhaps that’s the information coming from the president. At the AUL Web site, there is a chart that explains how your tax dollars can be used to fund abortions even without having them go directly to abortion services (click on the image to see it larger).
Yoest, in an interview below last week on the Albert Mohler radio program, goes on to explain how this can all take place under the new legislation. This may seem hysterical to some, but there are some principles that are too important to be brushed aside, even for something that may be considered worthwhile. And this health care bill is hardly worthwhile.
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