Pro-Life Democrats Urge Pelosi to Exclude Abortion Funding from Health Care Reform Bill

June 29, 2009 - 5:20 PM
Nineteen pro-life House Democrats signed a letter last week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressing their opposition to any health care reform that includes abortion funding.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Nineteen pro-life House Democrats signed a letter last week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressing their opposition to any health care reform that includes abortion funding.
 
“We cannot support any health-care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan,” the letter read.
 
The congressmen did not take a position for or against the so-called “public option” feature of the health care reform bill, which involves the creation of a government-sponsored health insurance poll, but the congressmen were blunt about what they do not want.
 
“Plans to mandate coverage for abortions, either directly or indirectly (are) unacceptable,” they wrote.
 
“We want to ensure that the Health Benefits Advisory Committee cannot recommend abortion services be included under covered benefits or as part of benefits package,” the letter further stipulated. “Without an explicit exclusion, abortion could be included in a government subsidized health care plan under general health care.”
 
“Nineteen Democrats breaking the fold is a sign that not everybody within the Democratic Party is completely sold out to the abortion lobby,” Shaun Kenney, executive director of the American Life League, the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization in the United States, told CNSNews.com.
 
The fact is, taxpayer dollars are already going towards programs that fund abortion, Kenney said.
 
“Planned Parenthood alone consumes about $349 million a year in federal and state tax subsidies,” he added.
 
According to a report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, research arm of Planned Parenthood, state policies restrict insurance coverage of abortion in only a few states.
 
“A handful of states prohibit private insurers from covering abortion services, except in cases of life endangerment; more extensive coverage may be purchased at an additional charge,” the report said.
 
Kenney told CNSNews.com that an amendment to prevent any and all taxpayer money going towards abortion and abortion-related programs would be a “rational next step” and “entirely consistent with the sentiments expressed in the letter.”
 
Either way, Kenney expressed optimism no matter the speaker’s reaction to the letter.
 
“What this ultimately is, is the spark, and whether or not Speaker Pelosi listens to them, it certainly is going to encourage the conversation as to whether or not the principles of social justice ultimately coincide with the principles of the abortion lobby,” he added.
 
The letter was signed by Reps. Dan Boran (D-Okla.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Colin Peterson (D-Minn..), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Travis Childers (D-Miss.), Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Mike Mclntyre (D-N.C.), Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Charlie Melancon (D-La.), John Murtha (D-Pa.), Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), and Kathleen Dahlkemper (D-Pa.).