By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Health-care reform has a new name: "the Abortion Industry Bailout Act of 2009" - or so says one pro-life Congressman, who believes that's the name Congress should give to the proposed legislation advocated by President Barack Obama.
In a press conference held yesterday, pro-life Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) explained that the proposed reforms in the current health-care bill are in effect a government bailout of abortion providers, similar to other government bailouts of banks, financial insurers and the auto industry.
"ObamaCare will force every taxpayer and every insurance premium payer to pay for every abortion in America," charged Smith, who is co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus.
Smith and his pro-life colleagues in Congress have been fighting to amend H.R. 3200, the "Affordable Health Choices Act," to prevent the inclusion of abortion among federally-mandated "essential benefits" that both private insurers and the public option could be forced to provide.
Smith stated that massive taxpayer subsidies of abortion are bound to happen, since the committee to determine "essential health benefits" for all plans - public and private - will fall under the oversight of the Executive Branch. Smith cited statements from President Obama and members of his administration that indicate "reproductive care" - a euphemism that includes abortion services - belong with essential health services.
According to the proposals for a "Health Benefits Advisory Committee," the body would be independent of direct Congressional oversight, and the benefits it mandates would require joint action by the House and Senate within 30 days to overrule.
"This enormous funding stream, combined with abortion mandates in private insurance will cause the number of dead babies and wounded mothers to skyrocket," affirmed Smith.
Since the early nineties, the number of operating abortion facilities has declined from 2,000 to less than 750 today, and the number of medical personnel performing abortion has likewise decreased. Statistical data from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research-arm of Planned Parenthood, indicates that by 2005, the ratio of women getting abortions reached its lowest ebb since 1974 with 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women.
However, Guttmacher's statistics show that government subsidies for abortion would sharply increase the number of abortions among Medicaid-eligible women by as much as 20 - 35 percent. Poor and lower income women just under 200% of the poverty line already account for fifty-seven percent of abortions in the United States. The average amount paid for abortion at 10 weeks is $413, although the research group says the cost is nearly $1800 in some circumstances.
So far the health-care bill has generated bipartisan opposition in Congress. According to pro-life Congressman Bart Stupak (D - Mich.), as many as 39 Democrats have pledged to vote against the health reform bill, if effective pro-life amendments are not included in the bill's final version.
However, Smith warned that he and his colleagues would be on the lookout for "bogus legislative language that purports to be pro-life" in any amendment, adding that "passing airtight language is paramount."
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
65,000 Americans Sign Petition Demanding Congress Exclude Abortion from Health Care Bill
Major Catholic Organizations Push for Healthcare Overhaul Despite Abortion Mandate
Obama: "Let's Not Get Distracted" over Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Coverage in Healthcare
More Pro-Life House Democrats Stand against Healthcare Abortion Funding
Study Finds Medicaid Coverage Increases Abortions