Abortion and the health care reform bill
By Robert Farley
Published on Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 6:42 p.m.
Abortion has emerged as the latest hot button issue in an already contentious health care reform debate.
While some talk about trying to make the bill "abortion neutral," neutrality is often in the eye of the beholder.
We decided to wade into the debate to check out the facts surrounding a couple of the more popular claims being made about the plan's effect on abortion.
First, we checked a claim by Rep. John Boehner that the plan would require Americans to "subsidize abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars." While there are several versions of the health care plan floating around Congress, and it seems that full abortion coverage would be permitted in the government-sponsored program, we didn't see anything in them that would put taxpayers on the hook for subsidizing abortions. In fact, we found an amendment in a key version of the House plan that specifically seeks to ensure that federal funds are not used to subsidize abortion coverage. And so we ruled that claim False.
We also checked an abortion claim by the Liberty Counsel, a group that describes its mission as an "education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family" and is affiliated with Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Va. In a memo on its Web site, the group says that page 992 of the health care bill will "establish school-based 'health' clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!" There's nothing in the bill to that effect, so we gave them a Pants on Fire.
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact:
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag