Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Some commentators have pointed out that President Barack Obama’s speech regarding health-care reform last night was more about his vision of health-care reform than it was about the specific health-care reform bills that are now before Congress.
Consequently, these commentators suggest, perhaps Obama’s claim yesterday that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions” might turn out to be true, even though the current House version of the health-care reform would allow funding of abortion.
Comments made by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, at a a Capitol Hill press conference of pro-life leaders today are helpful in adding clarity to this issue of vital concern to Catholics and to all pro-life Americans.
Also in attendance at the press conference were representatives of Students for Life of America, the National Black Pro-Life Union, 40 Days for Life, Democrats for Life, National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life, the Susan B. Anthony List and Heartbeat International.
Here is the text of Rep. Smith’s remarks, as provided to the Register by his office:
Last night President Obama said “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.”
Is the President telling us now that he will now accept the Stupak/Pitts Amendment?
Or was last night’s words merely a reiteration of his August 19th telephone conference call when he said “you’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true…,” he said, “these are all fabrications…”
After extensive analysis, Factcheck.org said: “Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.”
The Capps amendment leaves it to the HHS Secretary to decide whether or not abortions will be covered. It says, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public option from funding….abortion.”
There was an implicit recognition by the President last night that Americans reject public funding for abortion, and that Americans do not want to be complicit in the dismemberment or clinical poisoning of unborn children and the wounding of their mothers.
Killing human babies by abortion is not health care. Publically funding and facilitating abortion can in no way be construed as health care reform.
President Obama recognizes this political reality and is seeking to “pull one over” on the American public saying that his plan won’t fund abortion. Yet even the nonpartisan FactCheck.org has called him on this fallacious and deceptive claim.
President Obama must be held accountable for his words. If he intends to support the pro-life amendments that have thus far been deleted by pro-abortion members of his party, we welcome that. But the truth is that he seeks to cover up his intention to use the government-run public plan to send checks from the U.S. treasury to abortionists around the country. And, use government subsidies to pay for health care plans that cover abortion.