U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) restrictions on federal funding for community health centers. Released Monday, these guidelines cite the President's Executive Order and plainly state federal funding for community health centers may not be used for abortion except in the case of rape, incest and life of the mother.
"Health and Human Services has stated clearly that any federal funds provided to community health centers may not be used for abortion. This is just the latest evidence that the Administration is following both the letter and spirit of the President's Executive Order while implementing the Affordable Care Act. It also further discredits those who have taken it upon themselves to spread misinformation about abortion funding within the Affordable Care Act for political gain."
Stupak and other pro-life Democrats negotiated the Executive Order with the President to ensure that Hyde language protections of no public funding for abortions apply to the health care reform bill. The community health center guidelines issued by HHS are the latest confirmation that pro-life members did the right thing by standing up for their principles of providing quality, affordable, comprehensive health care to 32 million more Americans without providing public funds for abortions.
The language found on page 39 of the community health center grant guidelines states:
"Pursuant to existing law, and consistent with Executive Order 13535 (75 FR 15599), health centers are prohibited from using Federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered). This includes all grants awarded under this announcement and is consistent with past practice and long-standing requirements applicable to grant awards to health centers."
The full document can be found at HHS Guidelines.