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Abortion funding fight far from over

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so they say. The abortion industry is right in the middle of these desperate times after their leader, President Obama, abandoned them in the midst of the health care debate. By not stepping in to ensure that the Stupak-Pitts amendment, which prevents the government from funding abortion, would not be in the health care bill, he seems to have left them out in the cold.

Maybe not. After the amendment overwhelmingly passed the House did the president step in to say it went too far and that he would work to strip it from health care? The betrayal of Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Demcrat, certainly took a step in the right direction for the president when he caved on a phony abortion compromise that pushed the health care bill through the Senate on Christmas Eve.

But the abortion industry has certainly had its share of heartbreaks as well. Perhaps one of the worst betrayals came from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an ardent pro-choicer herself, when she left the abortion lobby to fend for itself after letting Stupak-Pitts get to the floor for a vote.

So it's no wonder that Planned Parenthood, NARAL and their allies are using desperate measures to make sure that the government funds abortion through health care. They have supposedly sent coat hangers to the Democrats who voted in favor of the Stupak amendment and have attacked the Catholic Church for standing up for its deeply held conviction and teaching that all life is sacred and that the government shouldn't be funding abortion.

And they are outright trying to deceive the American public on the merits of the Stupak amendment.

Earlier this month, New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey claimed that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment "puts new restrictions on women's access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market even when they would pay premiums with their own money." Just days later, PolitiFact.com issued an analysis and said her comments were "false."

Planned Parenthood's cover has been blown. Before the vote on Stupak-Pitts, there were no uproars from the abortion lobby about government funding of abortion in the health care bill. There were no send-your-legislator-a-hanger campaigns. Why? Because they were hoping this issue would slip under the radar and that the bill would pass without any specific exclusion of abortion, which would ensure that abortion would certainly be funded by the government.

But pro-life groups like ours were making noise and demanding abortion funding be taken out of health care legislation. And we will continue to do so as the House and Senate bills have to be reconciled.

And if it weren't for the Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak's perseverance and courage - and the courage of those who voted with him - the abortion industry could have very well pulled the wool over the eyes of the majority of Americans who do not want their tax dollars funding abortions.

But it's not over yet, far from it. The Senate bill provides for government-funded abortions and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops calls it "the worst we've seen yet."

These are certainly desperate times. Our nation has come to a well-defined fork in the road. President Obama and Congress can either choose to protect the status quo or fund abortion and ram an unpopular and immensely immoral bill through the legislature. It is our hope that the nation does not choose to fund abortion with government money.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest is president and CEO of Americans United for Life. Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the Susan B. Anthony List. Kristan Hawkins is executive director of Students for Life. David Bereit is national director of 40 Days for Life.