Pres. Obama Will Remove Abortion Funding Ban From Health Care Bill

From Lifesite:

Obama Will Remove Abortion Funding Ban From Health Care Bill, Advisor Says

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 15, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Top Obama advisor David Axelrod on Sunday confirmed what pro-life advocates already suspected would happen. He said President Barack Obama will work with congressional Democrats to remove the abortion funding ban the House approved in its version of the government-run health care bill.  [Does anyone believe that the most aggressively pro-abortion President in the history of the USA will allow this bill to avoid funding abortion?  Really?]

Axelrod says that, because the Stupak amendment allegedly goes beyond the status quo under the Hyde amendment (which bans abortion funding under Medicaid), Obama will make sure the amendment is yanked during the conference committee[Isn’t it true that Hyde must be reaffirmed each year:?]

That’s the part of the legislative process that will occur if and when the Senate approves its own health care bill, which will likely start debate with abortion funding.

"The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion," Axelrod said today on CNN’s State of the Union program.  [I think that is disingenuous.  I suspect the President wants an increase in abortion, despite his rhetoric.  That is the only explanation for his actions.]

"This shouldn’t be a debate about abortion. [?] And he’s going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed," he added. "I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly."  [Okay… he is repeating "status quo".  That must be the administration’s strong talking point now.]

Axelrod said that an agreement with ruling Democrats in Congress to remove the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions "can and will be worked through before it reaches his desk."

Axelrod’s comments come after Obama’s own remarks which made it appear he would favor removing or weakening the Stupak amendment.

"I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill," Obama told ABC News last week. "And we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions."

Obama appeared to side with abortion advocates who claim the Stupak amendment in the health care bill somehow changes the current status quo on government abortion funding.

“There needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo” on abortion, Obama added. “And that’s the goal.”

Obama also sided with pro-abortion groups in saying he wanted to make sure “we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices,” because he had promised that “if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, it’s not going to change.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, chided Obama for his comments.

"The only thing that will prevent the health care bill from being ‘an abortion bill’ is precisely the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, as the House of Representatives recognized by a 46-vote margin," he said.

"The phoniness of Obama’s claim that he has been trying to preserve the ‘status quo’ on abortion policy should be evident to any observer by now. In reality, the White House and top Democratic congressional leaders have been working hard to create a national federal government health plan that would fund abortion on demand, just as Obama promised Planned Parenthood," Johnson added.

Don’t forget this issue.

Bishops, when you meet in plenary session, don’t forget this issue.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kimberly says:

    “I suspect the President wants an increase in abortion, despite his rhetoric.”

    I believe you hit the nail on the head Father. To make this even worse, the majority of abortions are on HIS RACE.

  2. Soukup says:

    I understand this is not the main point of this post, but I wanted to put this out there as I think it may be an increasingly important point in the coming months/years. The Hyde Amendment, which you correctly pointed out needs to be approved each year, does not “ban abortion funding under Medicaid.” In fact, it very obviously allows abortion in several cases, namely: in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s health are in danger. You may read these clauses in section 508.a.

    I believe this is an important clause to remember since we must fight to end all abortions, not just those which end “normal” pregranancies. Since the Hyde Amendment must be approved each year, its actual wording may very well change from year-to-year. This means that the exclusion of certain types of abortions may grow or be redefined to allow more abortions under this supposedly anti-abortion rider. We must not rest knowing that this-or-that amendment will prevent abortions – as they do not prevent all abortions and can allow for quite a range of interpretation.

    The problems of interpretation especially concern those exceptions for the “health of the mother.” For example, the current Hyde Amendment states “The limitation established in the preceding section shall not apply to an abortion in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.” While this at first glance may only permit those abortions for women who will certainly perish if they give birth to their children, it actually is rather broad since the “life-endangering phsycial condition” is simply an example as witnessed by the clause beginning “including.” If this clause was restricted to only life-threatening pregnancies, the word “including” would be changed to “specifically” or something similar.

  3. haleype says:

    “Status Quo”?… I though he campaigned as the “disciple of Change”. Just goes to show that this administration will say whatever it thinks will please the electorate with the unfortunate fact being he was elected by the pro-abortion crowd with the complicity of too many “Catholics”. We have met the enemy and it is us!

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    Would it be fair to suspect that Catholics were deliberately tricked into supporting the House bill, in order to get it into play, but with the full intent to remove the anti-abortion provision in conference between House and Senate?

    A darker suspicion might be that USCCB staff coordinating the bishops’ effort were aware of this intent, but not all the individual bishops themselves.

  5. EXCHIEF says:

    What will it take for the Bishops to realize that the Democrat Party and the Democrat Administration as presently constituted really is, as Archbishop Burke correctly identified it, the Party of Death? The Bishops were duped and if their opposition to abortion (and while they are at it their opposition to the other immoral aspects of the so-called health care bill) is sincere they’d better immediately come out again in strong oppostion to the entire bill. They need to pull no punches and call it like it really is rather than let their naive and pro-Democratic perspective get in the way of their moral obligation.

  6. DisturbedMary says:

    Bishops, stay awake. The inhabitants of hell are prowling to tempt us, especially the leaders, in this the supreme moment for their Culture of Death. Take the 2000 pages of rot named healthcare and publicly cast it into a big fire where it belongs. Then get on with the business of calling us to conversion.

  7. B Knotts says:

    They always intended on doing this; it should be no surprise. This government health care takeover should have been opposed for a number of reasons, regardless.

  8. Peggy R says:

    This is indeed, no surprise. The USCCB needs to oppose the entire enterprise as being Pro-Death. The bishops must get themselves and their staff away from the Part of Death. I was horrified by how closely their staff worked with Pelosi, as if they approve the larger issue, so long as Stupak was passed. They were played.

    With or without Stupak, this is not a pro-life bill. It will do nothing to improve the status quo (to use Obie’s words) on access to health care in America. It bottles up insurers and medical providers more than ever. The thing to do is to pre-empt state regulation. Open up to interstate pooling/competition and reduce the scope of mandated services to be covered, among other things, like tort reform. Alas, these market-driven ideas fall on deaf ears. I was disappointed in Bp. Morlino on TWO w/Ray Arroyo Friday. God bless him, but he seemed not troubled by the big picture. He was stuck on concern for immigrants, legal and illegal, though the USCCB restrained themselves to speak of legal immigrants. I don’t think they understand what’s at stake.

  9. ssoldie says:

    Lest we forget, ‘actions speak louder then words’.

  10. GScheid says:

    Perhaps, USCCB can take not from DC archdiocese and threaten to remove funds via Catholic Charities

  11. JohnE says:

    I’m a little confused at what “status quo” is being threatened.
    A) No federal funding of abortion? Or
    B) “if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, it’s not going to change”?

    If there is an insurance plan that currently covers abortion, isn’t it a private plan? Or is he saying that whatever procedures private plans currently cover, the public plan should cover as well?

  12. MichaelJ says:

    It is my understanding that since whatever comes out of this legislation will fall under a completely separate appropriation, the Hyde Amendment would not apply, so none of its restrictions will have any effect.

  13. Cavaliere says:

    that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion.

    Did the President in fact say this during his speech to Congress. I sure didn’t hear it although it is certainly possible I missed it. I do clearly remember him saying that he wouldn’t allow any federal dollars to be used for abortion in his healthcare bill. Of course he later clarified that to mean not his, non-existant bill. You know I really hate being taken for an idiot. Regardless, if he were sincere (which I doubt he is) then he would simply call for an amendment in the Senate that meets the criteria he wants, not simply the outright elimination of the Stupak Amendment.

  14. isabella says:

    Does he – or any close family or friends – have any close financial ties to the abortion industry? It’s not unknown for inhabitants of the White House to pay back those who put them into office. Didn’t Planned Parenthood take a local director who quit to court to try to gag her from discussing their business plan? eg – *increasing* abortions to increase their profits.

  15. Steve K. says:

    The President promised the bishops earlier that the new healthcare plan would not fund abortions. And here he is trying to put the abortions back in the plan after the Stupak Amendment took them out. It’s quite simple – he is what that congressman shouted at him a few months ago – a liar. A shameless liar.

  16. Greg Smisek says:

    Soukup: The Stupak amendment moved one of the clauses (bolded below), to eliminate the possible ambiguity in the current Hyde wording:

    No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

    According to either the Hyde or the Stupak wording, the “including” clause gives an example of a doctor-certified, life-threatening, physical malady, namely, one that is caused by or arises from the pregnancy itself. Presumably there are other maladies, not tied to the pregnancy itself, that qualify, but they still need to be doctor-certified, life-threatening, physical maladies.

  17. catholicmidwest says:

    Did anyone, for an instant, think this wouldn’t happen?

  18. Geremia says:

    Saint Michael, pray for us! With the power of God, we can slay this “Deathcare” Bill dragon! Domine, miserere nobis! Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis!

    Also, this is interesting: Laura Ingraham and Raymond Arroyo discuss Judie Brown’s statement on the USCCB’s support for the current health care bill.

  19. EXCHIEF says:


    I’m afraid the Bishops didn’t think this would happen

  20. jackj says:

    Well, Father Jenkins, what do you think now about the fruits of your “dialogue” with Obama at Notre Dame?

  21. isabella says:

    Of course Obama is going to do everything he can to increase the number of abortions. He’s been bought and paid for. But the real battle will be in the Senate; that’s always been true.

    And Obama is kind of busy having the riot act read to him in Asia right now, about trying to devalue his way out of our economic mess. They see through him like glass. Maybe God is keeping him distracted.

    Remind me how he plans to pay for all these abortions he wants without enormous tax increases. Focus on that with the pro-abortion crowd. Do they want to put their money where their mouths are?

    I still think the bishops, prayer, and a united country can stop this bill. I have been spending more time on the phone lately with my congressman and senators than my own friends, almost. And whoever it was that said it helps to praise them when they come through – you’re right :) I’ll be knocking on doors for mine in the next election.

  22. Greg Smisek says:

    isabella wrote: “Remind me how he plans to pay for all these abortions he wants without enormous tax increases.”

    Oh, he won’t be raising our taxes. Just rich people’s taxes.

  23. JohnE says:

    “Oh, he won’t be raising our taxes. Just rich people’s taxes.”

    If you have a job, you’re rich.

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