Leading Pro-life Group to Discuss Abortion in Health Care Bills in Special White House Meeting
Washington, Sept. 16 – Americans United for Life’s sister organization Americans United for Life Action will relay the pro-life community’s deep concerns about health care reform directly to the White House this Thursday, September 17, when AUL Action meets at the White House with Melody Barnes, President Obama’s Domestic Policy Advisor, Tina Tchen, who directs White House’s Office of Public Engagement and Joshua Dubois, director of the White House’s Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said, “We plan to take the message to the White House that real health care respects life. Abortion is not health care, but without an explicit, proactive exclusion of abortion, the courts will impose an abortion mandate just as they did with Medicaid. The abortion lobby is using health care reform to try to end-run around the Hyde Amendment which has been a thorn in their side. Their ultimate objective is to define abortion as basic health care which Americans do not support. We have a petition to the President protesting the abortion mandate onwww.realhealthcarerespectslife.com that we intend to hand deliver at our meeting.”
The White House made the invitation in response to AULA’s open letter to President Obama, and Dr. Yoest’s agenda items for it include the concerns outlined in that letter: the current health care reform bills’ mandating government coverage and funding of abortion, their insufficient provisions for conscience protection, and the risk the bills carry of denial of care for the elderly and very ill.
AULA Staff Counsel Mary Harned asks: “If pro-abortion members of Congress do not intend for the health care reform bills to fund and mandate abortion coverage, why did they vote against all amendments that would have included explicit language excluding abortion funding and coverage?
These Pro-Life Amendments Explicitly Excluding Abortion in the Health Care Bills Were Defeated:
- (1) Senator Mike Enzi’s (R-WY) amendments that would have prevented taxpayer funding of abortion and would prevent abortion clinics from being eligible for federally qualified health center grants;
- (2) Senator Orin Hatch’s (R-UT) amendments that would have prevented tax-funded abortions unless the life of the mother is endangered or unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (making the Hyde Amendment permanent);
- (3) Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) amendments that would have ensured no abortion mandates, prevented abortion clinics from being eligible for federally qualified health center grants, prevented the invalidation of state laws that regulate abortion, codified the Hyde/Weldon conscience protection law, and ensured that Americans have professional ethicists informing any Government-funded medical decisions; and
- (4) Senator Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) amendment which would have prevented the invalidation of state laws regulating abortion.
U.S. House of Representatives
- In the Education and Labor Committee:
- Amendment to prohibit the abortion coverage mandate (Rep. Souder) failed (19-29).
- Amendment to prohibit the abortion funding mandate (Rep. Souder) failed (19-29).
- In the Ways and Means Committee:
- Amendment to prohibit the abortion coverage mandate (Rep. Johnson) (failed 18-23).
- Amendment to prohibit the abortion funding mandate (Rep. Cantor) (failed 19-22).
- House Energy and Commerce Committee:
- Amendment to prohibit the abortion coverage mandate (Reps. Pitts, Stupak, and Blunt) (failed 29-30).
- Amendment to prohibit the abortion funding mandate (Reps. Stupak and Pitts) (failed 27-31).
For further information, please visit AUL’s health care website:
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.