Abortion Concerns Added To Health Care Reform Debate

Thursday, August 27th 2009, 9:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

UNDATED -- The heated debate over health care reform has added new fuel to the fire over another controversial issue -- abortion.

The News On 6 reported Wednesday the leaders at local Catholic hospitals are concerned the health care bills in Congress right now could fund abortions. But President Obama says that's not true.

An ad claims: "And to think that Planned Parenthood is included in the government run health care plan and spending tax dollars on abortions. They won't pay for my surgery, but they will pay for abortions."

Watch the ad

Claims made on TV and online have some people wondering.

"About health care reform and how that will affect the federal funding of abortion," said Father Bryan Brooks of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Muskogee.

"Federal tax dollars should not go towards abortions," said Rep. Dan Boren, (D) Oklahoma.

President Barack Obama calls claims of federally-funded abortions, "fabrications." As it turns out, that's not exactly true.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee narrowly passed the CAPPS Amendment which would allow some abortions to be covered under the "public option" or the insurance plan administered by the government. According to factcheck.org, this would follow the same rules used by Medicaid, which allows abortions in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

But the National Right to Life's claim that the health care bill would be the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade might not be correct either.

The CAPPS Amendment also specifically prohibits using public funds for abortion coverage. And it forbids discriminating against health care providers for willingness or unwillingness to provide for abortions.

Pro-life supporters say under the House health care bill, people could use federal subsidies to purchase insurance plans that cover abortions.

Pro-choice supporters say that's no more government funded abortions than the tax breaks currently given to businesses for providing insurance, many of those plans also cover abortions.

Again, these are just bills, not laws, that haven't been voted on by the full House or the Senate.