I know that many of you have the same plans I do for the upcoming weekend: buying back-to-school supplies. In my family, with five kids and five lists — it may take two weekends. But thinking about that buying trip ends up giving me a great analogy for the health care reform debate.
Let’s say you’re headed out to Target or Wal-Mart. The kids are loaded in the minivan and you’re ready to go. You put in $40 and your spouse puts in $40. And at the end of the school year your child ends up first in the class in math. Which parent gets the credit? Which $40 bought the calculator, the protractor and the slide rule?
Impossible to say, right?
Not if you’re President Obama and his Congressional allies, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They are working to make precisely this distinction in response to growing awareness that the reform package will include taxpayer-funded abortions – a Pew poll released yesterday says half of Americans now believe health care reform will include government-sponsored elective abortions.
Abortion advocates argue that government dollars and government-collected premiums will be mixed in a fund used to pay health-care expenses, including elective abortions.
But somehow, they still claim that only funds from the (non-government) premiums will be used to pay for the abortions. Co-mingled premiums cannot be separated in a single funding pot.
Based on this distinction — which would be nearly impossible to document — both President Obama and White House Director of Domestic Policy Melody Barnes claimed last week at a teleconference that the health care bill would not allow for federally funded abortions. And that those of us arguing otherwise are “bearing false witness.” President Obama then repeated the claim in his Saturday Weekly Address, which was devoted to busting the “outrageous myths about health care.”
If he wants to truly set aside these growing anxieties, it’s not that hard. All he has to do is insist any legislation he signs explicitly prohibits abortion funding.
Won’t happen. Seeing is believing, so please take a minute and watch the video — in 2007, then Sen. Obama promised reproductive health (abortion) would be the “center and the heart” of his health care reform plans.
But don’t count out the forces of the pro-life movement, either. We’ve already pushed the pro-abortion forces into a corner on health care reform. The debate over anti-life provisions in the proposals is in the headlines.
For this, we can thank, among others, our terrific legal team at Americans United for Life Action. The work they have done to analyze the most damaging provisions of this legislation could save lives.
Our mission is to provide you with that analysis so that you can be well-informed throughout this rapidly moving debate. So take a minute to visit our one-stop health care reform website at RealHealthCareRespectsLife.com. There you’ll find background information such as an explanation of the amendment to HR 3200 by Reps. Lois Capps, D-Calif., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., that explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions. There’s also an FAQ document that’s a quick read and a flyer you can download to share with friends. Take a handful with you to church this weekend!
Not only do our attorneys work to protect the unborn, they also work on behalf of those at the other end of the life cycle.
Next week, Bill Saunders, AUL’s Senior VP, will travel to Helena, Mont., to help Montana’s solicitor general prepare for a critical assisted suicide case before the Montana Supreme Court. Last year, their state court found an individual right to physician-assisted suicide under the Montana constitution. If the state supreme court upholds this ruling, Montana will become the first state in the nation to recognize such a horrific “right.”
Our sister organization, AUL has been on the case since January, shortly after the lower court issued its ruling. Our staff attorney, Mailee Smith, coordinated the briefing of a dozen groups that support the state’s opposition to a judge-created right to assisted suicide. AUL filed the lead friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a bipartisan group of 28 state legislators who oppose the lower court’s decision. Coming on the heels of a state referendum in neighboring Washington to allow physician-assisted suicide, the case has generated worldwide interest. Bill has been interviewed on the BBC’s World News Radio program on the Montana case. Oral arguments take place Sept. 2.
As you know, our fight continues on a number of fronts. We’ve got to spread the word: I recently laid out the case for why abortion IS in the health care reform legislation in an interview on CBN entitled “What is the Truth About Abortions and Health Care Reform?” Take a minute to watch and let me know what you think.
You can do your part by attending town hall meetings and other gatherings. You can let your elected representatives know how you feel about protecting lives and help your neighbors understand what is going on and what is at stake.
If you attend a town hall, take along our Town Hall Action Kit:
- Bring copies of AUL Action’s Town Hall Flyer to inform your neighbors about life issues in health care
- Questions to Ask Your Legislators
- Back to the Hill! Want to know what to expect in the health care debate after recess? Check out AUL Action’s Guide to the Next Steps of the Health Care Reform Bills: What Happens After the August Recess
- AUL Action’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) On Health Care Reform
- The Abortion Industry’s Three Biggest Myths about Health Care Reform
- How the Hyde Amendment Could Be Eliminated: The Vulnerable Hyde Amendment
Thank you for joining me in protecting and defending life!
Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D.
President & CEO