.- A pro-life leader has criticized the Senateâs addition of the Mikulski Amendment to the proposed health care bill, voicing concerns that the provisionâs sponsor herself has admitted it would fund some of Planned Parenthoodâs services. The amendmentâs required coverage of âpreventive careâ could also include abortions.
The Mikulski Amendment, passed on Thursday by a vote of 61-39, requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for âpreventive careâ for women and bars them from imposing cost sharing requirements on such care.
Under the amendment, âpreventive careâ would be defined by the comprehensive guidelines of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, charged that the bill would âfurther mandate inclusion of Planned Parenthood, the nationâs largest network of abortion, in a national health care scheme.â
He described this as a âbreach of faithâ with the American people. Perkins claimed that because the bill does not exclude abortion explicitly, there is âno doubtâ that the Mikulski Amendment creates the opportunity for a âmassive public underwriting of abortion.â
He also cited a July 9, 2009 exchange between Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the amendmentâs sponsor Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).
In that exchange, Sen. Hatch asked if her amendment would include abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
âIt would include women's health clinics that provide comprehensive services and under the definition of a woman's health clinic, it would include Planned Parenthood clinics,â Sen. Mikulski replied.
She said that the bill would provide for âany service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.â
Sen. Hatch responded that he would have difficulty supporting the bill.
Sen. Mikulski, a self-professed Catholic, later told Sen. Hatch that she would not be willing to add language about excluding abortion services âat this time.â
In his Thursday statement, Perkins said that without the adoption of the Stupak Amendmentâs language in the Senate, it is âvery clear that taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions.â
Perkins added that the FRC applauded Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for opposing the Mikulski Amendment.