Congressman Smith warns against phony ‘compromise’ on abortion mandates in Obama health care overhaul

Congressman Smith warns against phony ‘compromise’ on abortion mandates in Obama health care overhaul

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Sen. Barack Obama
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Sen. Barack Obama


Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) released a statement today cautioning Americans to be wary of Congress’ attempts to compromise on abortion funding and expressed concern that any alteration in the language of the proposed authentic pro-life amendments may leave room for ambiguity allowing millions more abortions.

"Just as Americans are beginning to more fully appreciate and more fully understand the colossal threat posed by Obamacare to the culture of life including a massive expansion of abortion and rationing for the sick and frail elderly, some in Congress are now trying to cobble together a phony ‘compromise’ on abortion mandates, and abortion funding," the congressman began. "While we have yet to see the language, please beware."

The congressman advised that if the past is any guide, Americans "need to be exceedingly wary and alert concerning bogus legislative language that purports to be pro-life."

"I simply don’t believe President Obama when he says, as he again repeated a couple of days ago, that he wants to reduce abortion. With all due respect, that’s just not true! President Obama has since his inauguration—and with Obamacare is again promoting abortion, and if we fail millions of children will die."

Smith then stated that we "know what has to be done and we’re trying to do it. The authentically pro-life amendments designed to remove the abortion mandate in private insurance plans and bar public funding of abortion in most circumstances are extremely well crafted. Every word in our pro-life amendments has been carefully chosen to ensure that the text cannot be misinterpreted or misconstrued."

However, so far, the amendments have been rejected by two House Committees.

"In the Ways and Means Committee on July 17, Congressman Sam Johnson’s amendment to prevent the abortion mandate lost 18-23 and Congressman Eric Cantor’s amendment to prohibit taxpayer subsides for abortion lost 19-22."

"In Education and Labor, Congressman Mark Souder offered both and lost 19-29."

Though both were rejected, Smith noted that the amendments would be offered in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

"While our pro-life amendments are straightforward, unambiguous and transparent, I am deeply concerned that any change or alteration of either of these pro-life amendments by the Obama team or former pro-lifers like Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio (who just 2 weeks ago voted to force taxpayers to pay for abortion in the District of Columbia) will result in legislative language that President Obama will be able to interpret and construe to mandate abortion coverage in private insurance plans and public funding of abortion," Smith continued.

The congressman explained that since Obama wants to sign the health care bill by the August recess, "we must warn Members of Congress not to be deceived, misled, or bullied into accepting phony abortion bans."

"If we lose this fight or accept inferior, ineffective legislative language, millions of babies--who otherwise would have been born--will die and millions of mothers will be wounded."

Smith then explained what can happen if the wording is not "airtight." He recalled "President Clinton’s reinterpretation of the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Embryo Protection Amendment that stipulates that no taxpayer funds can be used for creating embryos for research or for research in which an ‘embryo is destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.’ In 1999 President Clinton reinterpreted that restriction only to the ‘direct’ destruction of embryos, not embryos that are killed by non-taxpayer funds. They did an end run."

"President Obama recently used the same distorted reinterpretation of law to subsidize the NIH funding for embryo destroying stem cell research, with the flimsy requirement that private dollars are used to kill the embryo."

He went on, "the potential for deceit is high and we must guard against it. I believe we also have to be aware that however unlikely, the Democrat leadership might just let something of substance get added to the House bill to expedite passage, only to rip it out in a House-Senate conference convened later on to iron out the difference between the House and Senate health care reform bills."

"This is the big one, Congressman Smith concluded. "Not since Roe v. Wade have our children and their moms been more at risk."


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