WASHINGTON -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded today to the U.S. Senate's approval of an amendment authored by U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to authorize the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to include abortion as "preventive care" in their guidelines. If HRSA decides to include abortion in its guidelines, then all group and individual health plans will be required by law to cover abortion.
"Sadly, the Senate voted today to further mandate inclusion of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest network of abortion, in a national health care scheme," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "This is a breach of faith with the American people, roughly 70 percent of whom oppose federally-funded or -subsidized abortion.
"Last July, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) queried Sen. Mikulski on a similarly deceptively worded amendment to ensure that Planned Parenthood's clinics, 295 of which perform abortions and all of which actively promote and refer for them (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/abortion-services-abortio...), are included in the bill's definition of community health services. When pressed, she admitted that her language would force health insurance companies to contract with abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. (see transcript below.)
"Because today's bill as written has no exclusion for abortion in its language, there is no doubt that Sen. Mikulski's amendment opens the floodgates to massive public underwriting of abortion, a position Planned Parenthood has always favored. Without the adoption of 'Stupak-Pitts' amendment language in the Senate version of the bill, it's now very clear that taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions," added Perkins.
"Family Research Council applauds U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) for opposing the Mikulski amendment and working with his pro-life Democratic House colleagues to protect the right of Americans not to be compelled to fund abortion," concluded Perkins.
July 9, 2009 transcript of Senator Orrin Hatch's exchange with Senator Barbara Mikulski:
HATCH: "...Would this include abortion providers? I mean, it looks to me like you're expanding it to... for instance, Planned Parenthood. Would that put them into this system?"
MIKULSKI: "It would include women's health clinics that provide comprehensive services and under the definition of a woman's health clinic, it would include, uh, it would include, uh, Planned, uh, Parenthood clinics. It would, um, it does not expand in any way expand a service. In other words, it does not expand, um, uh, or mandate abortion service."
HATCH: "No, but it would provide for them."
MIKULSKI: "It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate."
HATCH: "Well, I would have a rough time supporting it on that basis. I just wanted to get that clarified. Thank you."
HATCH: "Madam Chairman, would you be willing to put some language in [about] not including abortion services? Then I think you would have more support."
MIKULSKI: "...No, I would not, uh, be willing to do that at this time."