- The Washington Times - Friday, July 23, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It now appears that two more states, Maryland and New Mexico, will join Pennsylvania in using tax dollars to kill unborn children. As the National Right to Life Committee discovered, federally funded high-risk insurance pools in these states include “pre-existing condition” insurance plans that cover abortion. The pools have received $5 billion from Congress to provide benefits until 2014, when Obamacare kicks in.

This is more evidence of the emptiness of President Obama’s executive order that promised the federal takeover of health care wouldn’t bankroll abortion. It also underscores the depth of Rep. Bart Stupak’s betrayal of the pro-life cause in accepting Mr. Obama’s word in return for the vote critical to Obamacare’s ultimate passage. At the time, the Michigan Democrat explained that he had received “an ‘ironclad’ commitment from the president that no taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for abortions.”

The commitment now appears more like tinfoil than iron. New Mexico lists “elective termination of pregnancy” as a covered benefit in its $37 million high-risk pool. The plan covers 80 percent of the cost of an elective abortion, minus a deductible payment. The Maryland Health Insurance Plan, with its $85 million high-risk pool, lists abortion under its “covered services” in the description of benefits.

Pennsylvania’s $160 million pool allows the use of federal funds to pay for any abortion determined necessary by a single physician in light of “all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age) relevant to the well-being of the woman.” The only prohibition is that the abortion may not be motivated solely by an unborn child’s sex.

Despite the evidence, states and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services point primarily to the executive order to claim this isn’t the case. Pro-life groups scoff at their denials. “The executive order does not even mention the high-risk pool program, so it certainly does not prevent the program from covering abortions,” National Right to Life Committee legislative director Doug Johnson told The Washington Times. “And if abortions are covered, then they will be federally funded, because a federal program cannot spend ‘private’ funds.”

What this all boils down to is that there are no guarantees for pro-lifers without a law such as the Protect Life Act introduced by Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican. The seven-page bill, previously introduced as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, deletes the loopholes that allow abortion in Obamacare. “No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act … may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion,” the bill states, providing exceptions only for the life of the mother, rape and incest.

Mr. Stupak is not listed among the bill’s 119 co-sponsors. According to his office, Mr. Stupak still believes the executive order is sufficient. Of course, if Obamacare truly provided an “ironclad” prohibition on federal funding of abortion, there would be no harm in enacting Mr. Pitts’ legislation.

During this year’s campaigns, some Democrats will waffle that they are “personally opposed” to abortion but remain very elusive about specifics. Democrat-passed taxpayer-funded abortion offers clear proof that such candidates will never stand for the rights of the unborn when it matters most.

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