WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2011 ( – By supporting the Protect Life Act, Republicans are saying “that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene if this bill is passed,” Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed this morning.

“It’s just appalling,” she continued. “I can’t even describe to you the logic of what they are doing today.”

The Protect Life Act, or H.R. 358, is being debated in the House today and is expected to pass that chamber. The bill would amend the federal health care reform legislation to prevent the use of taxpayer money to fund abortion or abortion-covering insurance plans, except in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the mother’s life, and to protect the conscience rights of health care workers. It also disallows the government from forcing health insurers to offer abortion coverage in any given plan.

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Pelosi’s characterization of the bill echoes the talking points of Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, and NARAL Pro-Choice America – the latter of which has dubbed the Protect Life Act the “Let Women Die Bill.”

The claim is based upon the conscience-protection language in the bill, which states that the federal health care bill shall not “require any health plan to provide coverage of or access to abortion services.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, responded to Pelosi’s statement, telling Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review:  “If ever there were a reckless disregard for the facts, that would be it. They use this non-existent extreme to undermine a 70 percent position about conscience and funding.” 

Lopez pointed out that “the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act already requires hospital workers to do whatever is necessary to stabilize the condition of both the mother and her ‘unborn child’ (the wording in the law) in an emergency room.” 

Pro-life physicians have long pointed out that there is no known situation in which an abortion is required to save the life of a mother. Despite claims by pro-abortion activists that abortion is necessary to reduce maternal mortality, studies have shown that many countries where abortion is illegal have the lowest rates of maternal mortality in the world.