A recent analysis of ObamaCare by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops directly refutes the Democrats' claim that their government takeover of health care "will maintain a ban on the use of federal funds for abortion services," as Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) alleged during the health care debate earlier this year. Excerpts from the Bishops' letter follows:
[F]ederal subsidies will be used to help expand access nationwide to abortion coverage. Federal funds will make overall health plans affordable for millions of new customers, who will then pay a nominal fee for full access to elective abortions - not to be estimated at less than "$1 per enrollee, per month.' In plans that include such abortion coverage, abortions obtained by those who want them will be subsidized by the premium checks of those who object to abortion -- who must pay the abortion fee in order to keep a health plan they want or need for other reasons .
Other sections of this bill authorize and appropriate funds outside the bounds of the annual appropriations bills (hence outside the scope of the Hyde amendment and similar appropriations riders), and contain no restriction of their own. For example, a provision creating a "Community Health Center Fund' appropriates $7 billion over five years for "enhanced funding' of community health centers nationwide (expanded to $9.5 billion in the budget reconciliation bill passed by Congress immediately after enactment of the Act), and approximately $1.5 billion to help fund the National Health Service Corps, in addition to a separate $1.5 billion for construction and renovation of community health centers themselves This seems to create a new and expansive funding stream for health care services, not covered by any restraint on use of the funds for elective abortions
Moreover, the analysis notes that "Despite efforts by Catholic and other advocates, the Act includes no general protection for conscience rights beyond the contexts of abortion Thus far, Amish, Native American, and Christian Science religious beliefs have protection under these bills but the conscientious moral convictions of Catholics do not."
The Bishops state unequivocally that ObamaCare will lead to public-funding of abortions and will undermine the conscience rights of millions of pro-life Americans. Meanwhile, as ObamaCare undermines life, the American people have reached a "new normal" on abortion, as a series of recent Gallup polls found that more Americans are trending in the pro-life direction:
The conservative shift in Americans' views on abortion that Gallup first recorded a year ago has carried over into 2010. Slightly more Americans call themselves "pro-life' than "pro-choice' it represents the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life than pro-choice position on this measure since May 2009, suggesting a real change in public opinion.
Moreover, another recent Gallup poll found that those between the ages of 18-29, historically the most pro-choice demographic, are trending heavily in the pro-life direction. As William McGurn pointed out in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: "If there is one extraordinary fact here, it is this: Notwithstanding a pro-choice orthodoxy that dominates our film, our television, our press and our colleges and universities, strong moral qualms about abortion have not gone away."
Even after the passage of ObamaCare, the assault on life continues. Senate Democrats have introduced a measure to repeal a long-standing ban on abortions at military hospitals, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
House Republicans stood up for life during the health care debate, and continue to stand with the American people, to repeal and replace ObamaCare with commonsense solutions focused on lowering health care costs and protecting life. The Republican health care solution would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.