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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Latest Senate Bill Version Shifts U.S. Policy To Fund Abortion

Specific Problems with the Latest Senate Bill Version

  1. Violates the Hyde Amendment and the Hype principles set in all other federally administered health programs like Medicare, Medicaid, TriCare, and CHIP.
  2. Preempts state laws and conflicts with some existing state laws on abortion.
  3. Conscience protections (Weldon language) are not included in the Senate version.
  4. The “so-called” firewall between federal and private funds is inconsistent with the Hyde and Stupak-Pitts Amendments.
  5. Departs from the way the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (also administered by OPM) is governed with respect to private plans covering abortion.
  6. Allows executive branch officials to require private health plans cover abortion simply by defining them as “preventive care” (the Mikulski Amendment mandates that all plans cover abortion by defining abortion as a “preventive” service).
  7. Inserts text of the Indian Health reauthorization bill (S.1790) that does not contain the Senate passed Vitter Amendment to permanently prohibit coverage of elective abortions in the federally funded Indian health programs.
What Pro-Life Experts are Saying:

  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – “The Senate health reform bill should not move forward in its current form… The legislation will be morally unacceptable ‘unless and until’ it complies with longstanding current laws on abortion funding such as the Hyde amendment… Abortion compromise does not address core problem in Senate health bill…”
  • Democrat Representative Bart Stupak – “Not acceptable… a dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage.”
  • National Right to Life Committee – “The Reid manager’s amendment is light years removed from the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives on November 8 by a bipartisan vote of 240-194. The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems.”
  • Family Research Council – “It would violate the Hyde Amendment and other current laws that prevent federal funds going to pay part of the cost of health plans that include coverage of elective abortion… provisions will increase the number of abortions with government funding.”

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