In today’s Washington Post, Kathleen Parker acknowledges that the bills in Congress don’t require federal funding of abortion services, but she then abandons the facts and goes on to repeat baseless anti-choice talking points.
The truth is that pro-choice, pro-life, and mixed-choice members of Congress supported a compromise offered by Rep. Lois Capps of California that gives people who oppose abortion the option of selecting a plan in the new system that does not include abortion care. It also keeps in place state-level abortion restrictions and federal laws allowing health professionals to refuse to provide abortion services.
Parker is wrong when she implies that the Capps’ compromise separating public and private funds is a new concept. Currently, some hospitals that receive tax dollars through Medicaid also provide abortion care that’s paid for with private funds. It has worked this way since the late 1970s; it is not new.
Unfortunately, distortions around this issue aren’t new, either. Catholics United, which opposes abortion rights, has called out anti-choice groups for “intentionally distorting the truth in order to derail health care reform.”
But the facts don’t matter to lawmakers like Bart Stupak who aren’t satisfied with the Capps compromise because they want a new extreme nationwide abortion ban in private insurance that would take away abortion coverage from women who already have it.
Currently, more than 80 percent of private plans include abortion coverage, so the real minefield in this debate, to use Parker’s terminology, is that women could lose coverage they already have.