White House Health Care Proposal Retains Unacceptable Abortion Provisions

February 23, 2010

This week the White House has unveiled its plan for an overhaul of America’s health care system.  With respect to federal subsidization of abortion, the Obama plan essentially retains the features of the Senate bill, which has been declared unacceptable by the Catholic bishops.

The Senate approach opted for by Administration proposal overturns longstanding federal policy against the use of federal funds for elective abortions and for health plans that include such abortions.  Federal funds would help subsidize health plans that cover elective abortion.  All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions through a separate premium payment designed solely to pay for abortion.  Since there is no provision for individuals to opt out of this abortion payment in the federally subsidized plans, some Americans will actually be required by law to pay for other people’s abortions.  States will be able to opt out of this system, but only by passing legislation to prohibit abortion coverage, and they will not be able to prevent their taxpayers from funding abortion in the other states.

Unfortunately, the White House has declined to embrace the approach taken by the House of Representatives.  The House bill prohibits federal funding of abortion because of passage of the “Stupak amendment.”  Pro-Life Congressman Bart Stupak, who authored the Stupak amendment, has already declared the President’s new proposal to be “unacceptable.”