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, this afternoon:

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 religious activists....

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 insurance plan.

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 coverage.

"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
Publish 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.