By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life groups and lawmakers are continuing to raise the alarm over the healthcare reform package President Obama is aggressively pushing through both the House and the Senate. The groups are urging Americans to oppose the healthcare overhaul, as pro-abortion lawmakers are insisting that abortion must be included in the basic healthcare package that all public and private insurers will eventually be required to cover.
Leading pro-life Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) at a Washington press conference today questioned: "Why the rush to enact Mr. Obama's exceedingly expensive, complex and potentially ruinous health care restructuring plan without the benefit of comprehensive hearings on and through a vetting of the actual bill text?
"Obamacare is the greatest threat ever to the lives and wellness of unborn children and their mothers since Roe v. Wade was rendered in 1973," he said.
Smith noted that a study by the Planned Parenthood's Guttmacher Institute showed that the widened availability of abortion through government funding increases the number of unborn children killed by 20%-35%.
"Obamacare opens the spigot of public funding and does more to facilitate abortion than any action since Roe. This is the big one!" said Smith.
Another "egregious flaw" in the bill, said the congressman, is its requirement that all insurance providers contract with "essential community providers" - a mantle eagerly taken up by Planned Parenthood in a media campaign last month.
"In other words, all health insurance companies will be compelled by the Obamacare to contract with abortion clinics or simply not be certified to do business," said Smith.
Further evidence of the hidden abortion expansion in the bill came during a meeting of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee last week, when Sen. Orrin Hatch asked for confirmation from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as to whether the funds would cover abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
Following the meeting, Planned Parenthood immediately launched a petition to tell Sen. Hatch "to stop lying about health care legislation," and claimed that the senator was "falsely claiming that the amendment mandates abortion coverage."
However, it was Mikulski who admitted in the exchange that Planned Parenthood clinics and their abortion services would be subsidized by the healthcare plan, though she appeared reluctant to answer the question.
HATCH: "...Would this include abortion providers? I mean, it looks to me like you're expanding it to… for instance, Planned Parenthood. Would that put them into this system?"
MIKULSKI: "It would include women's health clinics that provide comprehensive services and under the definition of a woman's health clinic, it would include, uh, it would include, uh, Planned, uh, Parenthood clinics. It would, um, it does not expand in any way expand a service. In other words, it does not expand, um, uh, or mandate abortion service."
HATCH: "No, but it would provide for them."
MIKULSKI: "It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate."
HATCH: "Well, I would have a rough time supporting it on that basis. I just wanted to get that clarified. Thank you."
Later, Hatch asked, "Madam Chairman, would you be willing to put some language in [about] not including abortion services? Then I think you would have more support."
Mikulski answered, "No, I would not, uh, be willing to do that at this time."
Accordingly, the committee yesterday rejected amendments offered by the National Right to Life Committee that would have explicitly excluded abortion from the bill.
On Friday, an amendment introduced by Mikulski known as the Women's Health Amendment passed by a 12-11 margin. Capitol Hill pro-lifers expect that the broad language of the amendment will provide the gateway to abortion coverage in the federal plan.
For more information on how to fight the healthcare abortion expansion, visit the Family Research Council website: http://www.clearconsciencehealthcare.org/
To contact your House representative:
To contact your Senator:
U.S. Capitol switchboard:
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Obama Healthcare Reform Bound to Include "Largest Expansion of Abortion Since Roe v. Wade": NRLC, Chris Smith