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Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL Oppose Abortion-Health Care Funding Deal

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 19
, 2009

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Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Leading pro-abortion organizations are coming out in opposition to the new abortion funding "compromise" worked out by Senators Harry Reid and Ben Nelson. Although pro-life advocates oppose the compromise because it still allows abortion funding, they are upset that states can cut off some funding.

The so-called compromise essentially allows states to determine if they want to opt out of the massive government funding of abortion under the government-run health care bill.

Citizens of states that do not opt out will still be forced to pay for abortions.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, put out a statement opposing the deal.

"Planned Parenthood strongly opposes the new abortion language offered by Senator Ben Nelson in the manager's amendment," she said. "Last week, the Senate rejected harsh restrictions on abortion coverage, and it is a sad day when women’s health is traded away for one vote."

“The Nelson language is essentially an abortion rider. It creates an unworkable system whereby individuals are required to write two separate checks each month, one for abortion care and one for everything else," she said.

"There is no sound policy reason to require women to pay separately for their abortion coverage other than to try to shame them and draw attention to the abortion coverage. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that insurance companies will be willing to follow such an administratively cumbersome system, leaving tens of millions of women without abortion coverage," she claimed.

Richards said the Nelson-Reid abortion funding compromise would create outrage among pro-abortion activists.

“There is no policy reason for this action, it is simply a political maneuver. We understand that leaders in the Senate and the White House want to move the process forward, but given this provision, we have no choice but to oppose the Senate bill," Richards said.

"Planned Parenthood will now work with leaders to fix the abortion coverage language in conference," she promised.

Terri O'Neil, the president of the pro-abortion women's group NOW, says the Reid-Nelson-based manager's amendment "amounts to a health insurance bill for half the population and a sweeping anti-abortion law for the rest of us."

"And by the way, it's the rest of us who voted the current leadership into both houses of Congress," she grumbled in an email LifeNews.com received.

"The National Organization for Women is outraged that Senate leadership would cave in to Sen. Ben Nelson, offering a compromise that amounts to a Stupak-like ban on insurance coverage for abortion care," O'Neil added, even though pro-life groups say it is nothing like the Stupak amendment.

"Right-wing ideologues like Nelson and the Catholic Bishops may not understand this, but abortion is health care. And health care reform is not true reform if it denies women coverage for the full range of reproductive health services," she added. "We call on all senators who consider themselves friends of women's rights to reject the Manager's Amendment, and if it remains, to defeat this cruelly over-compromised legislation."

NARAL president Nancy Keenan also weighed in with her opposition.

"It is outrageous that ... the Senate has succumbed to including further anti-choice language in its bill," she said. "While the Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts provision, this new language is unacceptable."

"It is inexplicable that a bill seeking to expand health coverage for Americans would impose such great administrative burdens on women who purchase abortion coverage and plans that offer it," Keenan grumbled. "The language regarding abortion coverage comes at too high a price for reproductive health. Thus, we must oppose this new Nelson language."

She said NARAL "withholds support from the overall health-reform legislation until we assess the totality of provisions in the final bill that comes out of a conference committee between the House and Senate."

The statements from the pro-abortion gorups put them at odds with pro-abortion lawmakers who said they support the compromise.

Ironically, pro-life organizations are also blasting the comrpomise.


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