Pro-Life Group Unhappy With New Health Reform Proposal

February 22, 2010 8:18 am

The new White House health care bill doesn’t change the more lenient Senate-passed abortion provisions, and now the pro-life group known as Susan B. Anthony’s List is saying that it will pressure pro-life lawmakers to oppose the compromise.

More than 30 pro-life organizations have called for the final plan to include language written by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), and signed a letter to President Obama and Republican Congressional leadership asking that “protection of life” be the top priority at the health care summit.

The Stupak plan would prevent people getting federal assistance to purchase plans on the newly created insurance exchanges if they cover abortions. The Nelson plan allows people to buy whatever policies they want, but if a policy covers abortions, the person purchasing it would need to write a separate check for the portion of the plan that provides for abortion.

Obama has said more than once the health care legislation is not an abortion bill, and Democrats insist it does not include direct federal funding for abortions.The proposal revealed today does not change the provision which passed the Senate, a less stringent plan demanded by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).

The issue underscores the lingering difficulty of keeping the different factions of the Democratic party together, as it’s unclear if pro-life Democrats in the House will back this new compromise plan.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement accused President Obama of being “deaf to the voices of American taxpayers.”

“On behalf of the majority of Americans who opposed funding abortion with our tax dollars, I urge participants at Thursday’s health care summit – GOP members especially – to defend the American conscience,” she said.

“National consensus will only be reflected in clear language to ensure taxpayer dollars will not fund abortion or any health care plans that cover abortion. This is the federal status-quo, and it’s what an increasingly pro-life America demands.”

Additional reporting by Brian Beutler.

Ed. note: This post has been edited from the original.

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