Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, says he has been working on Capitol Hill for three months with pro-life members of Congress to ensure taxpayer funding of abortions is not included in the bill — but those lawmakers’ efforts have been unsuccessful.
“We have a whole page-and-a-half of amendments that were offered on multiple days to do just that, and they were all voted down, primarily on party lines,” he explains. “So if abortion were not going to be in this bill and it was not the intent, why would there be opposition to just stating that it was excluded and outside the funding of this bill?”
Perkins says President Obama is committed to his goal of funding abortion but “is now attempting to obscure this commitment because of an overwhelmingly public backlash.”
Meanwhile, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat says one of the main reasons he does not support the current House healthcare bill is because it allows for taxpayer funding of abortions.
Congressman Travis Childers (D-Mississippi) was among a group of 19 pro-life Democrats who wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, informing her that they would only support healthcare legislation that “explicitly excludes” federal funding of abortions.
“When I was a candidate, since I’ve been in Congress, and today, I have said and I continually say, and I will not veer from this — federal funding for abortion is a deal-breaker for me on any healthcare reform bill, period,” he states. “If it is included, that’s automatically lost my vote on anything. I’m very firm on that.”
Childers says he does not support the public option promoted by many fellow Democrats because he is a “free enterprise guy” and believes the private sector will “step up and do the right thing” if it knows Congress is serious about healthcare reform.