Pro-lifers are, for good reason, very concerned about the Obama health care proposal. Thankfully, the Senate has agreed to delay hearings on the package until they return from their summer recess, in September.
Contact Your Represenatives
This means you may want to wait to contact your Senator-but if the alternative is forgetting to call, then you ought to go ahead and do it today! You can access senator’s phone numbers here.
There are still several members of House Committees blocking passage of the bill to the full House. Until these dissenting Democrats can be won over, the bill won’t be moving. But House leaders haven’t given up hope on forcing this bill through before August. You can find the contact information for your representative at the house of representatives website, there you’ll type in your ZIP + 4 and they will tell you who to call.
Our friend Bill McIlvaine wants you to join him in calling the White House directly to tell them-politely, of course-what you think of the Obama plan. That number is 202-456-1414.
There are a couple of major problems with this health care package, which includes many of the items we feared would pass with the Freedom of Choice Act, or FOCA. It bears similarities to the “Illinois FOCA” bill Illinoisans defeated in the Spring.
Catholic hospitals are again at risk of being forced to provide abortions-or risk going out of business. Taxpayers are at risk for having to fund abortions directly through their tax dollars (that’s above and beyond the millions we’re already giving to Planned Parenthood each year).
According to Fox News, Representative Bart Stupak, a pro-life Democrat from Michigan, “is sponsoring an amendment that would specifically exclude abortion from any government-run health insurance plan. He says courts have ruled that when health care legislation is silent on abortion, it’s considered included. ‘If we do not put the specific prohibition against abortion and allow a conscience clause for religious and Catholic hospitals and these workers, it would be part of the bill, it would be understood there is no longer a conscience clause, that we can use public funds for abortion, something that we do not want.'”
That’s the key here: if it’s not excluded, then it’s implicitly included. That’s what we need to fear.
Calling Republican’s Bluff?
Tish Durkin, writing an online column for The Week, urged Obama to explicitly exclude abortion from the health care plan, urging him to call Republican’s bluff on the issue. I guess she figures that Republicans will then have to admit they hate the plan for other reasons and that, she thinks, this would be horribly embarrassing to them or something.
But anyway, her idea of adding the exception interests me for two reasons.
First, when I called Senator Durbin’s office earlier today, his aide assured me that abortion funding is not a part of this bill. So obviously there’s still some disagreement about whether people are willing to admit that abortion IS implicitly included in the bill. As if Obama, who is fully beholden to NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and NOW, would act against their interests. HA! As one blogger pointed out, Planned Parenthood has been calling abortion “health care” for years!
Second, she argues that even if Obama makes the pro-choice lobby unhappy, there’s not a lot they can do about it-it’s not like they’re going to choose to become Republicans to spite him. That’s the problem pro-lifers have had for so long-they’re loyal to the Republican Party even when it stomps on them, because where else can we go. Frankly, I like seeing the problem reversed.
What Benefits Will Be Included
Not related to the pro-life cause, this comment in the Fox News article has bothered me ever since I read it, and I wanted to share it with you: “Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., acknowledged that after the bill is passed, it’s likely an advisory panel then will decide exactly what benefits will be included.”
That means the current bill doesn’t even define what is-and isn’t-in the current plan. They’re seeking to pass a bill authorizing a massive health care overhaul that doesn’t even define what will be in it. Free euthanasia to all? Plastic surgery to anyone who wants it?
I find that highly disturbing…do you?