Obama Administration wants abortion coverage in reform bill?

Say you want to eliminate, just for example, slavery.   You stand up in public and make speeches especially to, for example, the student body of the fictional William Willberforce University.  You protest that you are going to do your best to reduce the number of slaves.

At the same time, you are working through international agencies to pressure anti-slave countries to expand slavery laws.  You then decide that you will work to reduce the number of slaves by expanding slave owners rights.

This is all hypothetical, of course.

From CNA with my emphases:

Obama wants abortion coverage in reform bill, Catholic League charges

New York City, N.Y., Aug 11, 2009 / 02:36 pm (CNA).- Health care reform is hitting a wall, claims Catholic League president Bill Donohue, and if you want to know why, the answer is opposition to coverage for abortion.

According to Donohue, President Obama has thus far refused to ask Congress to pass an amendment to exclude abortion coverage from public funding because Obama is so committed to making the procedure more available.

Echoing observations made by pro-life advocates, the Catholic League president notes that only 35 percent agreed with Obama on allowing funding of abortions overseas and that a later Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans now consider themselves pro-life.

Despite these findings, Donohue charges that the president and his staff are so extreme that they are "apparently willing to sink health care reform before ever excluding abortion from the final bill."

As it tries to deal with the public backlash against the various health care proposals, the White House has created a "Reality Check" section to answer objections people have to the bills.

Noticeably absent from a list of objections that includes rationing, euthanasia, veteran’s care and private insurance, is the issue of taxpayer funding for abortions, notes Donohue. "There’s a reason for that—every time an amendment has been introduced to formally exclude abortion, it has been defeated."

Amendments to exclude abortion from any health care coverage were proposed by Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.) but were voted down.

An amendment was later proposed by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and was approved. The Capps proposal was billed as a compromise on the abortion issue, but it contained a provision requiring that at least one insurance plan in each ‘premium rating area’ would cover abortion.

Although the U.S. Bishops support health care reform, they have strongly voiced their objection to including abortion in health care coverage on two occasions.

Bishop William Murphy first expressed the bishops’ objections in a letter sent to members of Congress on July 17, saying that it was objectionable to make Americans "pay for the destruction of human life."

Cardinal Justin Rigali, the U.S. bishops’ pro-life chairman, followed up the earlier letter by writing on July 29 to Senate House Energy and Commerce Committee members. His message was: "Much-needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding."



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  1. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Here may be another example of “omission.” It’s what the bill currently available does NOT say. For example, Section 1713, Page 768, covers Nurse Home Visitation Services, “Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Section 1714, page 768, covers Federal Government mandating eligibility for State Family Planning Service. ? In checking out some of the Sections, there is a lot that is not said and much that is implied, leaving open to interpretation how to implement the bill. Being vague makes its passage more likely, I think.

  2. TJM says:

    this should smoke out all of the fake Catholics and expose them for what they are. Tom

  3. Aaron says:

    I predicted weeks ago that they’ll let Obamacare die rather than take abortion coverage out of it: that abortion means more to them than anything else, even the dream of socialized medicine that they’ve pushed for decades. So far they haven’t proved me wrong.

  4. Dave N. says:

    If you participate in corporate plan at work, chances are quite good that you ALREADY participate in a health plan that covers abortion–and many employers are now requiring employee monetary participation in their corporate plans.

    Time to stand up and make your views known at work.

  5. jfk03 says:

    I think Bill Donohue is guilty of wishful thinking. I am hoping I am wrong.

  6. Good thing you said it’s a university, as I live about fifteen miles from the non-fictitious Wilberforce College. :)

  7. I am getting really sick of catholics who only seem to have a problem with the abortion part of the bill. If anything, it is the euthenasia parts of the bill that are the most blatant and bone-chilling. Even without any mention whatsoever of abortion and euthenasia (even if only implied), the bill is still an atrocity and the largest delagation of power from the legislative to the executive branch in the history of the United States. This bill is horrific in it’s scope, application, and consequences. It should have never even been proposed. When are the bishops going to stop chasing the social fads and trends of the day and wake up to what is really going on in this country? The current administration is doing everything it can to take away the rights of Americans and all the USCCB can say is “well, by golly, it’s just fine as long it doesn’t say abortion.” Wake up, my fellow American Catholics, this is about far more than just abortion and we need to realize this before we wake up and our rights and freedoms are gone, but the USCCB will be happy as long as the government didn’t use public funds for abortion. Maybe then they’ll have even more time to quible over how stupid we all are since we can’t understand the true language of the Mass, or maybe even devote more time to giving credence the hoax of global warming.

  8. brianwalden says:

    I’m sick of the people who try to act like Obamacare won’t expand abortion coverage. If abortion won’t be covered anyway, then why are the bill’s supporters so vehemently against amending it to explicitly prohibit coverage for abortion? They’d be giving up nothing (or at least that’s what they claim) and the bill would almost certainly pass if it prohibited abortion coverage.

  9. On the abortion front, Family Research Council quotes a Democratic Senator in California in an article entitled: “Abortion will be covered….and it should be”

    With regards to euthanasia, that is equally troubling. Sarah Palin hit Obama back hard, with facts in a facebook entry after his town hall meeting (see LifeSiteNews – Sarah Palin Strikes back on Obama “death panels”).

  10. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Section 1233 covers end of life issues. There’s a lot, and yes, it omits too much of what it intends; but what it does say is unsettling, to say the least.

  11. isabella says:

    OK, I admit it. I voted for Obama because I didn’t think he really meant what he said about abortion and was just trying to placate the far left to get elected. I wish I could undo it, but I can’t. If anybody has some constructive suggestions about how I can make amends, I’d like to hear them. Just telling me I was dumb doesn’t count – I’ve figured that out on my own.

    And now, he is not only going after the unborn, but the sick and the elderly. My father paid into Social Security his entire lifetime; is Obama going to pull the plug when it is time for him to use the benefits he was forced to pay for?

    And I don’t agree with Sarah Palin on a whole lot (sorry, I know she’s popular here), but I completely agree with what Diane at Te Deum Laudamus posted. Sarah comes off as a little over the top (we share a home state), but is fundamentally right on the issue of euthanasia and care to children that beaurocrats see as less than perfect – born or not.

    Even China is rethinking the damage done by their abortion policy. So now we are going to jump on the train? And Section 1233 is truly scary.

  12. Tina in Ashburn says:

    oh I know!! Lets add COST to the already overburdened health care we have by making everybody pay for truly unnecessary ‘medical procedures’, killing our future generation! Let’s continue decimating our population until humanity is extinguished.

    Does this really sound like it will create a healthy economy? Paying for more, and exterminating those we need to pay into it? Simple cold logic proves an untenable future.

    [isabella, thank you for your admission. There are others just like you, let’s hope these people are as honest as you, and declare the same conclusion. Something’s up if the One’s popularity is plummeting in the polls.]

  13. robtbrown says:

    Two points:

    1. There are three possibilities re abortion. First, that a bill explicitly includes it. Second, that a bill explicitly excludes it. Third, that it’s not mentioned at all.

    The first possibility is unacceptable, and the second is unlikely. More likely is the third, which is little else than a political finesse–abortion coverage could be added later, either as a rider on legislation otherwise irrelevant to health care or possibly as an Executive Order (cf military hospitals).

    2. I don’t read 1233 as an explicit promotion of euthanasia or assisted suicide, even though they might be implicitly included. End of life medicine can be controversial. A few examples:

    a. My father’s best friend, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years before, had double knee replacement. Infection set in, and he spent a month in the ICU. Within a year he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and was dead in a few months.

    b. A man I knew well, retired Army Colonel (Airborne Inf, Ranger, 3 tours in VN) was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He had surgery, and cancer was found again about a year later. He began chemotherapy. When he was told it wasn’t working, he discontinued it. He told me that it was just making him sick.

  14. Aaron says:

    As you say, they could switch from option 1 to 3, simply refusing to address abortion in this bill and enacting it by bureaucratic finesse down the line. That they aren’t willing to compromise even that much just shows how completely dedicated to abortion they are. It’s not enough to get it paid for somehow; it has to be made the good and right thing.

  15. Denise says:

    Whenever one class of individuals is judged disposable, all individuals become vulnerable. The unborn are now disposable, and the elderly, chronically ill and disabled are becoming so. Please read my discussion of Section 1233 here. It does not set up death panels. It does set up (whether intentionally or unintentionally) a scenario that can lead to the pressuring of the elderly to forgo beneficial care. Currently, women who give birth to children with Downs syndrome are chastised. The “option” to abort has become a “duty” to abort. Similarly, the “option” to forgo medical interventions in later years will become a “duty” to refuse care. The Netherlands has already documented that many elderly feel pressured to accept euthanasia. It is expected of them.

  16. TJM says:

    I hate to say this because there are a lot of people of good will here (misinformed) that voted for the One, but when you place your faith in government
    instead of the Faith, you’ll always get burned. Unlike what a lot of looney, leftwing, abortion loving Democrats say, Jesus would not be a Democrat
    (probably Jesus would refrain from any party affiliation). Unfortunately,Democrats, over time, have evolved into state-worshippers. Catholicism, to
    the extent they practice it, is a cultural Catholicism and nothing more. They have earned the sobriquet of Archbishop Burke, the “Party of Death.”
    If you think Teddy Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi are Catholics, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. The Party and Government, first, foremost and always to people of that ilk. Tom

  17. Kerry says:

    The State is their God, and abortion their sacrament.

  18. mpm says:

    “I wish I could undo it, but I can’t. If anybody has some constructive suggestions about how I can make amends, I’d like to hear them.”


    You are honest. That is good. We all make mistakes, especially at election times because these people are not known for honesty.

    BTW, did anybody see Sen. Grassley’s “town hall” meeting on CSPAN yesterday? I think it helped restore my sense about what this country is supposed to sound like.

  19. mpm says:

    I agree with robtbrown and Aaron’s comments: whatever bill results must explicitly enumerate “procedures” or “standards of care” that will not be covered. Otherwise, either by subsequent legislation (overt or covert), subsequent regulatory implementation (“the standard of care calls for abortion and contraception and euthanasia in these circumstances”), or court ruling, they will be introduced. And as Justice Scaglia has said (and correctly, I think) that as an originalist justice (not to mention an “empathetic” justice) he is not called to decide on matters not addressed by legislation.

  20. robtbrown says:

    Similarly, the “option” to forgo medical interventions in later years will become a “duty” to refuse care. The Netherlands has already documented that many elderly feel pressured to accept euthanasia. It is expected of them.
    Comment by Denise

    I don’t doubt that will happen, just as there is pressure now to buy a bigger house or a new car. But that’s not the same as a Death Panel.

  21. Peggy R says:

    I am with Christbearer316. While abortion and euthanasia are the most serious moral concerns with the bill, they are not the only concerns. The fiscal infeasibility is one matter. Further, what economic analysis has been done to demonstrate that a public option will improve the behavior, pricing and variety of private carriers? I have seen none. All the economic evidence [CATO, Heritage, eg] is that over-regulation and restriction of coverage to expansive plans, prevents lower prices, greater variety and consumers obtaining the medical services and coverage they need. The illogic of the idea of a public option is supremely disturbing to me as well. A reform of medical insurance should improve the situation which is considered not optimal, but the pending bills only reduce access to care and reduces competition among operators. Only 13 years ago, Congress and the president (Clinton) recognized that opening markets to private competitive entry and reducing regulatory/economic barriers to entry where possible was a way to give us communications choices (Telecom Act of 1996). Here, we have an industry of over 1300 operators who compete with each other and are limited by state regulators in their offerings, yet the Left (public officials and pundits/media) claim that they, as if one unit, need competition from the government. There is no need for the federal or any state government to spend one dime or raise any tax to improve the current market failures in medical insurance availability. And I haven’t even gotten to tort reform.

    I am concerned that the USCCB is on board with this freedom-reducing, life-taking agenda in Congress. They seem to like the idea philisophically, so long as abortion is not included. Very disturbing.

    Thanks for allowing me to join in the discussions.

  22. TJM says:

    Peggy R, a lot of American bishops will go along with this because they think that healthcare “reform” will benefit the “poor.” Believe me, this is not about healthcare but about concentrating more power in the hands of the federal government, creating jobs for functionaries, and buying votes. These clowns could care less about healthcare. If they did, they would allow every American a tax credit to buy their own health insurance (SEE no bureaucrats, no government interference in that model) and if one is too poor, give them a grant to buy it. The Party of Death (aka Democratic Party) will NEVER go for that because it doesn’t create a permanent bureacracy and patronage. Tort Reform will also NEVER happen while the Party of Death controls the levers of government. The ABA contributes HUGE money to the Party of Death. Tom

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