Over 100,000 letters have been sent to Congress from pro-life advocates asking that abortion be excluded from any national health care reform effort.
President Barack Obama himself, speaking to CBS’ Katie Couric last week, acknowledged a tradition of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care. However, Congress has voted down several health care bill amendments seeking explicit assurance that abortions will not be funded.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, announced the 100,000 letters and commented on the issue in a Tuesday press release.
“Americans are urging Members of Congress to preserve the real common ground, our long-standing tradition of limiting taxpayer funds for abortion,” she said. “This is exactly the type of policy the President has sought to achieve, one that stands the test of time, has popular support and appeals to members on both sides of the aisle.”
“Yet both the House and Senate versions of health care reform legislation seek to undo this commonsense policy,” she charged. “Without language to explicitly exclude an abortion mandate, the legislation will result in Americans footing the bill for abortion on-demand in the largest expansion of government-backed abortion since Roe v. Wade.”
Citing ambiguities in the legislation, many pro-life groups are certain that Health and Human Services officials or federal judges will define abortion as a part of basic health care covered by the proposed bill. They have formed a coalition called Stop the Abortion Mandate.
“Families are at the very heart of the health care issue, continued Dannenfelser. “And with pregnancy there are always two patients, mother and baby. We must establish a health care system that respects, protects and cherishes both. Congress should explicitly exclude an abortion mandate and preserve the common ground policies supported by the growing majority of pro-life Americans.”
The Susan B. Anthony List, which claims over 162,000 members across the United States, reports that in 2009 its members have sent nearly 400,000 letters asking Congress not to fund abortions, including 112,000 specifically commenting on health care legislation.
According to the Susan B. Anthony List, a recent action alert from NARAL Pro-Choice America reported the sending of 12,500 letters to the Senate in support of an abortion mandate.
Pro-life advocates are also concerned that section 1233 of the House bill will serve as a back door to government promotion of euthanasia. The section requires Advance Care Planning Consultations on "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration" and other end of life treatments.