By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As President Obama races against the clock to push nationalized healthcare through Congress, the New York Times has picked up on the growing fear among Americans that the bill will ultimately spell taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
In a Sunday article, the Times reported that White House budget director Peter Orszag refused to rule out taxpayer money paying for abortion under the bill.
“I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now,” said Orszag. “It's obviously a controversial issue, and it's one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”
Orszag's response corresponds to the refusal by committees in both chambers to pass several amendments that would have explicitly restricted the government-funded healthcare from covering abortion. In addition, major pro-abortion groups have praised the new healthcare arrangement as setting the stage for promoting abortion as “basic healthcare.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to vote early this week on more amendments to exclude abortion coverage, proposed by Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mi.). (A list of committee members is available here)
Although news of the troubling implications of the health care plan - which Rep. Chris Smith has called “the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade” – has trickled only slowly to the public forum, it appears that Americans are beginning to take notice.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday showed less than half of respondents now approve of Obama's healthcare overhaul. 49 percent supported the President's stand on the issue, down from 57 percent in April, while those disapproving shot up from 29 percent to 44 percent. The poll had a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
According to a National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) fact sheet, while the bill does not mention abortion, prior legal interpretations of federal statutory law indicates that abortion coverage will inevitably be read into the bill. The final say on whether the essential package covers abortion will belong to an advisory committee under the purview of Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, one of the most notoriously pro-abortion U.S. politicians. Private insurers, in turn, will be pressured under the bill to meet the government's standard of “essential healthcare coverage.”
“These bills, which President Obama is pushing hard, would result in federally mandated coverage of abortion by nearly all health plans, federally mandated recruitment of abortionists by local health networks, and nullification of many state abortion laws,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “They would also result in federal funding of abortion on a massive scale.
“The pro-life movement needs to go to Condition Red on these bills, because they pose a mortal threat to the unborn and they are on a fast track to enactment.”
Pro-life leaders across America are now urging followers to attend a webcast this Thursday, July 23, which will feature high-profile speakers including Rep. Chris Smith, Tony Perkins, and Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life to discuss the unprecedented dangers of Obama's healthcare bill.
David Bereit, best known for his work organizing the 40 Days for Life campaign, says he has dropped his usual agenda in order to join the fast-growing battle against the legislation.
“In all my years in the pro-life movement, I've never seen the degree of unity and collaboration that is forming around this vital issue,” said Bereit.
For more information from the NRLC on contacting U.S. representatives, click here.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Giant Webcast Thursday to Educate and Mobilize Pro-Life Americans Against Great Dangers of Obama Health Care Bill
Obama Healthcare Reform Bound to Include “Largest Expansion of Abortion Since Roe v. Wade”: NRLC, Chris Smith
Pro-Life Democrats Unite to Protect Unborn Children in Healthcare Restructuring