Will National Health Care Include Abortion?

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Will nationalized health care include coverage of abortion?

The White House issued a press release in August, 2009, that pretty clearly said "no".

In his weekly address, President Obama set the record straight on some of the most pervasive myths about health insurance reform. He addressed a range of "outrageous myths" including ... that abortions will be funded by taxpayer dollars ...

White House Press Release, Aug 22, 2009

On the other hand, when Obama was running for office, he gave a speech at the annual Planned Parenthood Action Fund conference in which he said:

[R]eproductive care is essential care. It is basic care, and so it is at the center, and at the heart of the plan that I propose. ... It'll be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services.

Barack Obama, speech to Planned Parenthood Action Fund conference, July 17, 2007

He went on to say that people may be allowed to continue to have private insurance under his proposal, but:
[I]nsurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care ... that's absolutely essential.


Planned Parenthood has always used the term "reproductive health care" as a code word for abortion. A reporter from the Chicago Tribune asked for clarification after this speech and an Obama spokesman assured him that this did indeed include abortion. ("Democrats Pledge Support for Wide Access to Abortion", Mike Dorning, Chicago Tribune, July 18, 2007)

Well, maybe Obama has moderated his position since the election. The bill presently before Congress does not specifically say whether or not it will cover abortion. The Congressional Budget Office -- which is often called on to analyze the implications of proposed bills -- concluded that if abortion is not explicitly excluded, it will likely be covered. Supporters of the bill assured pro-lifers that this was incorrect. So Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) proposed an amendment to explicitly say that it would not cover abortion. This was voted down in committee by 30 to 29. Stupak is trying to get his amendment to the floor of the House, but so far the Democratic leadership will not allow it to even be brought to a vote.

So the supporters of national health care assure us that it will not include abortion. But when asked to put that in writing, they refuse.


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Oct 16, 2009.

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