.- Reacting to President Barack Obamaâs remarks on his health care reform conference call with faith leaders today, pro-life organizations called on the president to âwalk the talkâ and remove the provisions in the health care bill that make it possible to fund abortions with federal dollars.
During a Wednesday teleconference sponsored by the left-leaning religious organizations Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Faith in Public Life, both White House Director of Domestic Policy Melody Barnes and President Obama denied that the health care bill would allow for federally funded abortions.
But according to Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, âpublic support for abortion is on decline, and the President knows that openly advancing an abortion mandate in health care reform is unpopular with the American people.â
âTherefore, it comes as no surprise that Obama's statements conflict with the proposed legislation. Americans demand an explicit exclusion of abortion coverage, not more obfuscation and confusion from the President and his allies,â she added.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), said that
the president was "emboldened by the recently demonstrated superficiality of some organs of the news media." Johnson further charged that Obama "brazenly misrepresented the abortion-related component of the health care legislation that his congressional allies and staff have crafted."
The NRLC explained that "as amended by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 30 (the Capps- Waxman Amendment), the bill backed by the White House (H.R. 3200) explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions."
"Obama apparently seeks to hide behind a technical distinction between tax funds and government- collected premiums. But these are merely two types of public funds, collected and spent by government agencies,â Johnson explained.
"The Obama-backed legislation makes it explicitly clear that no citizen would be allowed to enroll in the government plan unless he or she is willing to give the federal agency an extra amount calculated to cover the cost of all elective abortions -- this would not be optional. The abortionists would bill the federal government and would be paid by the federal government.
These are public funds, and this is government funding of abortion," Johnson said.
Johnson also pointed to an interview with Katie Couric of CBS News, broadcast July 21, in which Obama observed that "we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care."
"It is true that there is such a tradition -- which Obama has always opposed, and which the Obama-backed bill would shatter," Johnson insisted.