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EDITORIAL: Your taxes to pay for abortions

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President Obama isn't being straight when he says current health care proposals don't provide government funding for abortion. They do. If Democratic plans are passed, your taxes will pay for abortions.

In an Aug. 19 conference call sponsored by the liberal group 40 Days for Health Reform, Mr. Obama accused his opponents of "bearing false witness" and of "divisive and deceptive attacks" on a whole host of claims about the various health bills backed by congressional Democratic leaders. A number of the president's counterclaims were dubious, but his most demonstrably false statement was: "You've heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true."

That's not what Associated Press reports. On Aug. 5, an AP story was headlined "Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion." There's no wiggle room in that headline - or in the legislation. As AP reported: "Since abortion is a legal medical procedure, experts on both sides say not mentioning it would allow health care plans in the new insurance exchange to provide unrestricted coverage.... In the Senate, the plan passed by the health committee is still largely silent on the abortion issue. Staff aides confirmed that the public plan -- and private insurance offered in the exchange -- would be allowed to cover abortion, without funding restrictions.... Abortion opponents are seeking a prohibition against using any federal subsidies to pay for abortions or for any part of any costs of a health plan that offers abortion. Such a proposal was rejected by the House Energy and Commerce Committee."

House and Senate sponsors defeated a total of seven different attempts, in four committees, to restrict the use of federal funds for abortions. In the House, an amendment successfully sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps, California Democrat, specifically provides for abortion coverage. For instance, Section 4 (B) reads as follows: "Abortions for Which Public Funding Is Allowed. -- The services described in this subparagraph are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is permitted. . .."

You can't get more explicit than that. Granted, the Capps amendment includes all sorts of other language that provides a thin reed of deniability about the abortion-coverage mandate, but then it absolutely requires that "each premium rating area" include at least one plan that covers any abortion service -- and even all those "private" plans will feature government-financed subsidies.

This matter of abortion coverage is of utmost importance. For decades, polls have shown that overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose public (taxpayer) funding of abortions even if many of those same Americans support keeping abortion a legal option. Even for many who are pro-choice, it is one thing to allow somebody to procure an abortion. It is quite another for the federal government to coerce everybody to pay taxes or fees for another person to procure what many consider to be a grave moral evil.

President Obama is wrong to promote any plan that provides public subsidies for abortion. No amount of dissembling can cover up the repellent reality of what's in current health care legislation.

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