Betrayal of Conscience: Senate Bill Allows Abortion Funding

Washington – In response to this morning’s introduction of the manager’s amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act introduced by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

    “Today Ben Nelson let down Nebraska and he let down Americans who oppose government-funded elective abortion. It’s a tragedy that Senator Nelson has paved the way for legislation that departs from the status quo. If this bill passes, for the first time, federally funded and managed health care plans will cover elective abortions. Pro-life Americans in Nebraska and other states that choose to ‘opt-out’ of abortion coverage will still be forced to foot the bill for abortions in California and New York.

    “This is not ‘compromise’ or ‘middle ground’ – it is a betrayal of conscience for millions of Americans. And it is a betrayal of Senator Nelson’s own principles. Abortion is never good for women or their unborn children. This is exactly the type of ‘leadership’ that repels the American electorate. Real Americans everywhere are sending a message they are hungry for authenticity. They seek leaders whose actions follow their principles – no matter what sweet deal comes along to trade off on them.

    “Americans – women included – reject the radical feminist vision of an abortion for every home, at government expense. Abortion is never good for women, and can never be a legitimate aspect of any ‘health care’ debate. Stupak is the only language that sets it aside. Every pro-life senator must vote against cloture on the manager’s amendment. This vote will be the most important pro-life vote of their career. Senators must recognize that a vote for cloture is a complete betrayal of their pro-life constituents. There is no middle ground: either you fund abortion or you don’t.”

Unlike the House version of health care reform, manager’s amendment introduced by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) does not prohibit abortion coverage for plans offered in federally subsidized health care exchanges. The state “opt-out” provision does nothing to prevent one state’s tax dollars from funding abortions in other states.

The new “public option” managed by the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) will cover abortions. Each state through OPM can provide two multi-state plans and only one of them will exclude abortions. OPM’s current health care program, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), does not include any plans that cover elective abortion. The bill also includes a reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, without language to prevent federal funding of abortions.

As part of its Votes Have Consequences project, the Susan B. Anthony List has funded television ads in Nevada (video) and Pennsylvania (video), radio ads in Nevada, Arkansas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and targeted advocacy telephone campaigns nationwide to mobilize pro-life Americans to contact Congress and urge their legislators to defend Life in health care reform.

For the last several months, the Susan B. Anthony List has mobilized tens of thousands of pro-life Americans nationwide to urge Congress to exclude abortion from health care reform. Susan B. Anthony List activists have sent over one million letters to Congress requesting an explicit exclusion of abortion from health care reform.

The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of Americans, over 280,000 residing in all 50 states, dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and representing pro-life women in politics. Its connected Candidate Fund increases the percentage of pro-life women in the political process.

CONTACT: Joy Yearout (703) 380-6674 or jyearout [at]      

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