Tags: Reid | healthcare | abortion

Life Group Condemns Reid Bill's Abortion Coverage

By Rick Pedraza   |   Thursday, 19 Nov 2009 03:14 PM

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) lambasted the sweeping healthcare bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled Wednesday, saying it endorses abortion on demand.

Reid rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts Amendment language in the House bill, which prohibits use of federal funds to pay for abortion, said Douglas Johnson, the NRLC's legislative director.

Instead, Reid's plan "substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs,” Johnson wrote on the NRLC Web site.

“Reid seeks to cover elective abortions in two big new federal health programs, but tries to conceal that unpopular reality with layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping requirements,” Johnson said.

Language in the Reid bill closely mirrors the original House bill, which the NRLC and other anti-abortion groups fought. The House deleted that language by a vote of 240-194 on Nov. 7, replacing it with Stupak-Pitts.

Following the Stupak-Pitts pattern "would prevent federal subsidies for abortion by applying the principles of longstanding federal laws such as the Hyde Amendment to the new programs created by the health care legislation,” Johnson said.

“Instead, Reid has sought to please the militant minority that demands funding of abortion through federal programs, even though substantial majorities of Americans believe that abortion should be excluded from government-funded and government-sponsored health programs.”

The NRLC will continue “to oppose the stubborn attempts of congressional Democratic leaders to establish new federal government programs that will fund coverage of elective abortions,” Johnson said.

“The Reid bill establishes a big new federal health insurance program, the public option (although now referred to in Reid's bill as the 'community health insurance option')," Johnson wrote. "The bill authorizes (on page 118) the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program. This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it.

“In addition, the bill creates new tax-supported subsidies to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand.”

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