Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
In his June 20 keynote address to the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith identified Obama’s fast-track health-care reform agenda as the most immediate political threat to the lives of unborn children.
Here is an excerpt from the address by the New Jersey Republican, who is co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus:
Finally, earlier this week Senate Democrats and yesterday, House Democrats, unveiled their health-care reform bill. The “Obama bill” health-care restructuring bill, is reportedly on a fast track. If this so-called reform bill isn’t “reformed” to explicitly exclude abortion, we absolutely need to put it on the fast track to the dust bin of history. Apart from the estimated $1.6 trillion price tag and a virtual cornucopia of untested policy proposals cobbled together in secret absent any meaningful scrutiny, the legislation poses huge catastrophic risks for unborn children.
For years, the pro-abortion mantra has been access, access, access. New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey has said, “The greatest threat to abortion rights may no longer be anti-choice judges and politicians, but diminished access to abortion services … .”
The former director of the National Abortion Federation has said, “Unless drastic changes are made, American women will lose the right to abortion and the [U.S.] Supreme Court won’t be the cause of it … the reason will be that physicians either can’t or won’t perform this essential service.”
The American Medical News reported, “Abortion is a matter of choice in this country not only for women but for physicians as well. All over the country, most physicians are choosing not to do it.” And the San Francisco Chronicle has said, “Those who run abortion clinics, even in large cities, say that recruiting doctors is now their most serious problem.”
An abortion mandate in health-care restructuring is how our opposition hopes to fix this “serious problem.” The other side has long sought to compel every taxpayer and insurance premium payer to subsidize every abortion in America while simultaneously ensuring proximity and an ample supply of abortionists everywhere. That’s why Obama is looking to trash or at least seriously undermine conscience-clause protections and has revoked the conscience regulations promulgated by President Bush.
When Hillarycare was introduced 16 years ago, the Clinton administration at first denied that an abortion mandate was included. Notwithstanding the Clinton administration’s unparalleled penchant for obfuscation, their attempt to deceive was soon exposed and, with the help of some pro-life Democrats, a Hyde-type amendment was drafted. (At a mark-up in the Veterans Affairs Committee on Hillarycare, I offered an amendment to Hillarycare to nullify the abortion mandate which they claimed wasn’t there. After a long, divisive debate, we smoked them out, and we won by one vote.) In the end, health-care “reform” got bogged down by the abortion-on demand mandate, and the legislation never came to the floor.
Now there’re back, and with a vengeance, and they are trying once again to force taxpayer-funded abortion overtly or, if preferably, by stealth.
In the upcoming debate, they will again use benign words and phrases to mask abortion. Even Planned Parenthood is on script and recently said they merely want “a full range of health-care options.”
In 2007, Mr. Obama told Planned Parenthood in a speech “in my mind, reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose. … Insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care … that’s going to be absolutely vital.” And as reported in the Chicago Tribune, when “asked about his proposal for expanded access to health insurance, Obama said it would cover ‘reproductive health services.’” And we all know what that means — remember, Secretary Clinton says that means abortion.
The Obama/Kennedy/Waxman legislation creates a benefits “advisory” council, picked by Obama, that will mandate services after the bill becomes law. Absent explicit language in the bill precluding abortion, the killings of unborn children on demand, it will be mandated.
Because the fawning Press Corps is likely to either miss deliberately or gloss over the health-care abortion mandate, we have to immediately mobilize like never before to both expose it and then stop it. We might only have days — weeks. It is likely to be on the floor in July.
This is the big one!