From National Right to Life
URGENT: Congress acting on vast pro-abortion mandates Obama, Democratic Congressional Leaders Push "Health Care Reform" Bills That Mandate Abortion Funding and Nullify State Abortion Laws!
WASHINGTON (Updated July 8, 2009) – The Obama White House and Democratic congressional leaders are pushing for votes in late July on massive "health care reform" bills that contain sweeping mandates to expand access to abortion on demand, override state abortion laws, and establish federal funding of abortion.
These bills pose one of the greatest threats to pro-life policies since the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion in 1973.
Two Senate committees and three House committees are nearing the end of the process of crafting "health care reform bills" that would, among other things, result in mandatory insurance coverage of abortion on demand, federal subsidies for abortion, and mandated local abortion facilities. These bills will also allow the nullification of many state limitations on abortion.
The full House is expected to vote on its version of the bill at the end of July. Senate floor action could occur shortly thereafter.
So far, key Democratic lawmakers have unveiled two different health-care restructuring bills. The first, introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), started out over 600 pages long, and is currently going through the amendment process in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The second bill -- called the "Tri-Committee chairmen's bill" or the "House Democratic leadership bill" because it was jointly released by the Democratic chairmen of the three House committees with jurisdiction -- is over 800 pages long.
Both of these bills would empower panels of federal officials to mandate coverage of abortion on demand in virtually all health plans. Both of these bills would also result in massive federal subsidies for abortion on demand. Both of the bills would empower federal officials to order expansions of abortion providers in many areas of the country (referred to by pro-life analysts as the "abortion clinic mandate"), and to override at least some state abortion regulations. And they do all this without ever mentioning the word "abortion."
"The pro-abortion movement sees federal 'health care reform' legislation as a golden opportunity to force-feed abortion into every nook and cranny of the health-care delivery system," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "Their goal, as they sometimes put it, is to 'mainstream' abortion. If Obama and his allies succeed, the result will be a very large increase in the number of abortions performed in America."
"Pro-life Americans should vigorously oppose any federal ‘health care reform’ legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortion from the scope of any government-defined or government-mandated package of health care services,” Johnson explained. “A bill that delegates authority to some government board or official to require abortion coverage is simply a covert, two-step method for imposing sweeping pro-abortion mandates on employers and citizens.”
As Nancy Keenan, president of the pro-abortion advocacy group NARAL, put it in an interview released on July 7, 2009, "if, indeed, we can advance a panel or commission, then I am very optimistic about reproductive health care being part of this entire package."
The imposition of sweeping pro-abortion mandates as part of “health care reform” is currently the top priority of many pro-abortion organizations, such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). These organizations are pushing for the abortion mandates both in public statements and in less visible lobbying efforts. In April, the president of PPFA said that her organization intends to use the health care legislation as a "platform" to guarantee access to abortion to "all women." Likewise, the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion providers, said, "NAF supports health care reform as a way to increase access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care, for all women."
A third version of health-care restructuring legislation is still being written, behind closed doors, by members of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. On July 1, both PPFA and NARAL sent out national legislative alerts expressing alarm that some Republican Finance Committee members are urging that the bill include language to exclude abortion. Also on July 1, the Reverend Carlton W. Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) , sent out an alert to that organization's e-mail list headed, "Urgent! Access to Abortion Services Threatened." The alert said, "Let there be no mistake, basic healthcare includes abortion services. . . . Reproductive healthcare, including abortion services, is an essential component of women's health, and we must act now to make sure women get a fair shake in the final healthcare reform bill." (RCRC is made up of a number of religious bodies, including the Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, and United Church of Christ.)
To read a detailed article on this subject that appeared in the National Right to Life News, click here. To view or download the article as updated in the PDF format, click here.
What Obama Promised
On July 17, 2007, during Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, he appeared before the annual conference of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Speaking of his plans for "health care reform," Obama said, "in my mind, reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose." [emphasis added] Under his plan, Obama explained, people could choose to keep their existing private health care plans, but "insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care ... that's going to be absolutely vital."
Regarding Obama's statements, the Chicago Tribune reported: "Asked about his proposal for expanded access to health insurance, Obama said it would cover 'reproductive-health services.' Contacted afterward, an Obama spokesman said that included abortions." ("Democrats Pledge Support for Wide Access to Abortion," by Mike Dorning, Chicago Tribune, July 18, 2007.) The Obama campaign elaborated on this commitment to mandate abortion coverage on other occasions.
What You Can Do Now
Please take a few minutes to use the form below to send messages to your two U.S. senators and to your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, to urge them to oppose any federal “health care reform” legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortion. You can modify the suggested message as you see fit. When you fill in your mailing address, your messages will automatically be directed to the appropriate U.S. House member and to your two U.S. senators.
In addition, please TELEPHONE the offices of your two U.S. senators, give your name and address, and tell the senators' staff persons that you wish to be recorded as "opposed to Senator Kennedy's health care bill because it contains many pro-abortion mandates." The offices of any U.S. senator can be reached through 202-224-3121. Also, please TELEPHONE the office of your U.S. House member, give your name and address, and inform the staff person that you wish to be recorded as "opposed to the House Democratic Leadership health care reform bill because it contains many pro-abortion mandates." You can reach any U.S. House member's office through 202-225-3121. You can also find the direct-dial numbers (and fax numbers) for the Washington and in-state offices of your U.S. senators and U.S. House member by calling up their individual profiles on this website, here.
Also, please send short letters to the "letters to the editor" features of your local newspapers, in order to alert your fellow pro-life citizens to the sweeping pro-abortion mandates that the Obama White House and the pro-abortion lobby are trying to smuggle into law through "health care reform." You can find contact information for your local news media in our "Media Guide" here.