Blog Post

Obama Dismisses Abortion Issue at Health Care Summit

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist When the subject of abortion coverage in health care reform was raised at yesterday’s summit, President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stuck to their talking points and insisted that abortion is not covered in their plans. is reporting that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) brought up the abortion issue during the fifth hour of the day-long conference. He asked the president why Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the author of a pro-life amendment banning all abortion coverage from healthcare, was not invited to the meeting and why the subject of abortion was not even listed as a topic for discussion at the summit. "The Stupak-Pitts amendment - which reflects the will of the American people on the issue of federal funding of abortion - is supported by a bipartisan majority in the House, but was excluded from the president's proposal," Rep.Boehner said. "Pro-life Democrats in the House have already pledged to vote against this provision. Health care reform should be an opportunity to protect human life, not end it." President Obama dismissed his remarks, saying they were “just not true.” The president then went on to chide him about reverting to “standard talking points” that don’t “drive us to an agreement on issues.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was more forthright and outright denied that abortion coverage even exists.   "The law of the land is there is no public funding of abortion," she said, alluding to the Hyde amendment which bars government funding of most abortions. "And there is no public funding of abortion in these bills. And I don't want our listeners or viewers to get the wrong impression from what you said."  What she failed to note is that the bills are written in a way that they create separate income streams to which the Hyde Amendment cannot be applied. "Speaker Pelosi has her own idiosyncratic dictionary, one in which federal agencies can pay for abortion on demand without spending 'public funds' or 'taxpayer funds' for abortion," said NRLC's Douglas Johnson.  "In ordinary English, however, this is deceptive claptrap. Every version of the health-care bill has contained multiple pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for abortion — except for the version that was fixed by adoption of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, over Speaker Pelosi’s objections." Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, called it “remarkable” that the president refused to address the issue. "This has been his approach to the abortion issue throughout this debate:  to evade the question or misrepresent the facts to the American people," she said. "There is a very simple reason for this: Abortion is the bill killer." Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, agrees. “I was amazed today as I followed the summit to see that one of the main reasons healthcare reform has not passed yet, abortion, was not addressed. . . . The idea of tax payer funded abortions is not accepted by a large majority of the nation. I think Vice President Biden was right when, today, he questioned his ability to know what Americans think. Both he and Congressional leaders like Reid and Pelosi have demonstrated time and time again that they are out of touch with mainstream America." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®