(Photo: AP Images / Nati Harnik)
Pro-life leaders across the nation made it clear Thursday that President Obama’s claim that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions" is misleading and flat out not true.
"President Obama continued to mislead the American people by casually dismissing the concerns of millions of Americans who have deep moral objections to their tax dollars paying for abortions,” noted Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, referring to Obama’s speech at the joint session of Congress Wednesday.
"It's surprising the President continues to claim that 'no federal dollars' will fund abortion particularly after this assertion was widely disputed weeks ago by FactCheck.org along with reporters and columnists at the Associated Press, Time Magazine, and The Washington Post. Even supporters of the President such as Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, Rev. Jim Wallis, and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren agree that the current health care plans include abortion coverage with federal dollars,” Perkins added.
On Wednesday, Obama said he wanted to clear up some of the “bogus claims” that have increased American concern over current health care plans, saying they were “spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost.”
But pro-life leaders such as Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life argue that any misunderstanding or “bogus claim” there may be over the federal funding of abortion via health care reform legislation have come from the White House, not pro-lifers.
“The reality is that federal funds will indeed go to pay for abortions and to subsidize private insurers that pay for abortions. There are absolutely no safeguards to prevent this funding of abortion,” insists Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
“It is shameful and disturbing that Obama would stand before Congress and all of the nation, look into the camera, and lie about a matter that is of great concern to the vast majority of the American people who oppose using their hard-earned money to bail out a failing abortion industry. Obama has denigrated the office of the Presidency and played the American people for fools,” he said.
According to Factcheck.org, a project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, the current House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans though it does not require federal funds to be used to support abortion coverage.
“As for the House bill as it stands now, it’s a matter of fact that it would allow both a 'public plan' and newly subsidized private plans to cover all abortions,” reported Brooks Jackson, director of Factcheck.org, which takes no position on whether the health care bill should or should not allow coverage for abortions.
“Therefore, we judge that the president goes too far when he calls the statements that government would be funding abortions 'fabrications,'" Jackson had concluded.
According to a new nationwide poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, six in 10 (58 percent) of Americans do not believe the government has an obligation to provide abortion services under its public health care plan. Furthermore, 55 percent say that it’s wrong for the government to pay for abortions.
And though only four-in-ten voters (43 percent) say they would be less likely to support the president's proposed health plan if the government pays for abortions, just 8 percent say it would make them more likely to support the plan. The remaining 46 percent of Americans, meanwhile, say it makes no difference to them whether or not health care reform legislation allows for government funding of abortion.