Religious left now speaking up against
abortion in healthcare plan
Without abortion, nationalized healthcare is doomed. The abortion
industry will drop support quicker than it can abort a baby.
But it appears increasingly clear it is doomed with abortion. Here's
another nail, supplied by Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News & World Report,
Conservative Christians have spent weeks decrying Democratic plans for
healthcare reform over allegations that the proposals will increase
abortion coverage, but recent days have seen a different camp raising
abortion-related concerns in the healthcare fight: left-leaning
Progressive faith leaders and organizations are pushing hard for
healthcare reform along the lines that President Obama has articulated,
but some of the most prominent have grown concerned with the House
healthcare bill's provisions for abortion coverage in the public health
They object to pooled premiums of those participating in the public
plan going to abortion coverage for others in the plan, as laid out in
the House healthcare bill. Americans who are opposed to abortion, the
activists say, shouldn't be forced to pay for abortion procedures for
others with their premiums.
Other faith-based liberals object to the House bill's authorization of
the Dept. of Health and Human Services to decide which types of
abortions are covered by the public option.
These religious activists, while opposed to much of the religious
right's agenda, are pressuring the White House and Capitol Hill
Democrats to revise the amendment to the House bill that deals with
abortion, authored by California Rep. Lois Capps. One idea is to offer
a second public option that excludes abortion coverage. Another is to
offer a supplemental insurance rider for those who want abortion
"The Capps amendment successfully addresses the vast majority of
concerns the moderate pro-life community has raised regarding
conscience protections and abortion funding in healthcare reform," says
Chris Korzen, executive director of the influential progressive group
Catholics United. "The question of how to handle abortion coverage in
the public option has proven more difficult to answer."
Stephen Schneck, a Catholic University of America professor who has
advised the WH on Roman Catholic issues, is also urging Democrats to
revise the House bill....
But left-leaning activists are worried that without revising abortion
provisions in the public option, the debate over abortion can bring
down the whole healthcare reform effort. "As Catholics, we recognize
that dramatically shifting the way we fund abortion is problematic not
only for us, but also is the wrong way to go politically in terms of
reaching consensus with pro-life members of Congress," says John
Gehring, deputy communications director for the liberal group Catholics
in Alliance for the Common Good. "It's definitely a sticking point, and
it would be unfair to characterize it only as a conservative concern."
Progressive faith groups have been an important part of the Democratic
coalition pushing for healthcare reform....
Contact: Jill Stanek
Date: September 9, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.