Washington, DC - The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice calls on the Family Research Council and other leaders of the pro-life movement to shut down the inflammatory "stoptheabortionmandate" website and end their massive misinformation campaign alleging that health care reform would cover abortion. The prominent politicians and activists who have put their names and reputations behind this campaign are misleading their constituents.

The Family Research Council and its allies in this campaign have consistently and repeatedly twisted the truth to promote their agenda and bring down health care reform. Because abortion is a critical component of women's reproductive health care, it should be included in a health care package. But the fact is that there is no "mandate." The current House version of the health care bill would create a panel that would weigh what procedures might be covered - an approach that the Obama administration has said is the best way to determine what procedures to cover.

Using the abortion issue to provoke opposition to health care changes is manipulative and wrong. We applaud the organization Catholics United for condemning this ploy in its statement yesterday (July 30).

Honest people can and do have profound disagreements about when and whether abortion should be permissible. But this issue should not be used to manipulate public opinion on health care reform. Leaders of public opinion have a responsibility to engage in honest discourse and to respect diverse views. In this case, that can best be achieved by shutting down this website and pulling the Family Research Council television ads set to run in five states and any other public media that distorts the facts.