Dear Member of Congress:
I am writing today on behalf of Americans United for Life Action to express our deep concern over the major health-care reform proposals moving through the United States Congress. Abortion is not health care and does not belong in health-care reform. We will oppose any bill that (1) fails to explicitly exclude both abortion funding and mandatory abortion coverage, and (2) fails to protect the rights of conscience for all Americans.
Both H.R. 3200 and the Senate HELP Committee “Affordable Health Choices Act” would delegate to bureaucratic committees the role of determining the minimum benefits that any private or public healthcare plan must offer. Courts have broadly interpreted the “mandatory categories of care” within Medicaid – such as “family planning,” “outpatient services,” “inpatient services,” and “physician services” — to include abortion. Therefore, there is little doubt that courts will also include abortion within such categories in any healthcare reform bill unless abortion is expressly excluded. In fact, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag stated on July 19, 2009 that he was “not prepared to rule [taxpayer-funded abortion] out.” Furthermore, amendments that would have ensured that abortion was not included have been defeated in Congressional committees in the past week, buttressing our belief that the bills are intended to include abortion.
Additionally, any health-care reform bill that moves forward must expressly protect the rights of conscience for all Americans, whether or not they are health-care providers. No health-care provider should under any circumstances be forced to participate in abortion or subjected to discrimination for choosing not to perform abortions. Furthermore, no private insurer should under any circumstances be forced to pay for abortion. Nor should the American taxpayer who is conscientiously opposed to the killing of unborn life be forced to fund abortions.
The majority of Americans are pro-life, and over 70% oppose taxpayer-funded abortion. While Americans face economic uncertainty on a daily basis, it is unconscionable to force them to pay for abortion under the guise of health care. We respectfully ask that you ensure that these changes are made to any health-care proposal before it receives your support.
Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Americans United for Life Action