The health care debate, the greatest challenge of the Obama presidency, has abortion at its epicenter, and no one realizes this more than the White House. In recent weeks, President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have all insisted that the health care proposals under consideration would not cover abortion.
Nevertheless, that’s not the reality we face on the Hill. Recently, we had a meeting with senior White House officials to focus on our serious opposition to the abortion mandate in health care reform. They reiterated the president’s statement from his address before Congress and were noncommittal about specific language that would address the current concerns of pro-life advocates.
The truth is that the health care packages under consideration do include abortion funding. Without a specific statutory amendment that includes an explicit ban on federal funding and coverage, we face health care reform that includes abortion.
Lost in the debate over whether or not abortion is “in there” – whether or not you can flip to a certain page and point to a particular clause related to abortion funding – is an understanding among political elites that this is a watershed battle over definition. It’s existential, if you will, and comes down to a very straightforward question: Is abortion health care, or is it not? [reference]
Part of the dishonesty in the debate is to maintain that since the current health care bill does not fund abortion in writing that effectively abortion won’t be funded. Well abortion isn’t funded in the Medicare law, but it takes the Hyde amendment each year to keep Medicade from in fact paying for abortion. Every amendment to the health care bill to pacifically forbid abortion funding has been struck down. The defenders of the bill just keep going on lying that the bill does not fund abortion. The Presidents reassurances mean nothing considering his track record and that the bill has yet been changed by his party. The trick has always been to leave the bills vague enough so that the courts could step in and define what it means. They let the courts do the dirty work for them.
Charmaine Yoest very good article goes on to how the attempt to define abortion as health care, as just another procedure, is going. If we let the culture of death to define the terms than the word “health care” will mean nothing. Just as the health of the women was broadened to include mental health so as to allow abortion, this further definition will be disastrous.