WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Reports that Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) is proposing a so-called abortion funding "compromise" in order to draw pro-life Democrats to support the health care bill should not mislead the American people, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said today.
Perkins who spoke at today's "House Call" rally noted that the latest draft of the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" would authorize federal funding for elective abortion. Perkins made the following comments:
"We are very disappointed that someone who claims to support the protection of unborn children would offer language designed to ensure the government pays for elective abortions behind smoke and mirrors. However cleverly worded the proposal might be, Rep. Ellsworth's plan would authorize a government run public option to fund elective abortion and subsidize private plans that cover elective abortion.
"The Ellsworth language creates a ruse by appearing to offer a restriction on the use of 'federal funds' for abortion, while leaving in place the key legal authority which says 'nothing in the Act' should be interpreted to 'prevent the public health insurance option from providing for ....coverage of' elective abortion.'
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"This abortion funding sham is exacerbated by additional language that requires the public option to hire contractors to ensure that money paid into the government option will be used to pay for elective abortions. Medicare contracts with private business to handle claims, but no one in their right mind would say Medicare payments are 'private' payments. Ellsworth's language is a hoax intended to mislead pro-lifers, and still requires that federal funds pay for all elective abortions.
"Apparently, Rep. Ellsworth has been co-opted by his pro-abortion colleagues who would rather see the health care bill fail if it doesn't fund abortion, rather than see it pass without abortion funding. We strongly urge Members to keep the status quo on abortion funding by supporting Congressman Bart Stupak's (D-MI) amendment to keep abortion out of the health care legislation. FRC Action will score against any vote for the Rule if Speaker Pelosi does not allow an up-or-down vote on the Stupak amendment."