Religious Groups Say “Abortion Mandate” Ads Mislead

religious organizations have called on the Family Research Council and
other anti-abortion groups to shut down a television ad and Web site
that contain “massive misinformation” related to the national
discussion on health care reform.

The site in question, “Stop the Abortion Mandate,” kicked off with a
July 23 webcast that included spokespeople for more than 15
anti-abortion organizations and two Republican members of Congress. As
The Iowa Independent previously reported,
speakers who took part in the webcast painted a grim picture for those
who oppose abortion: Passage of health care reform not containing a
specific exclusion for reproductive health services will result in the
closure of Catholic hospitals, the refusal of “pro-life” individuals to
enter the medical field and the collapse of Crisis Pregnancy Centers
due to the lack of medical personnel who oppose abortion.

“This is quite literally a defining moment for us,” said Charmaine
Yoest, president and chief executive of Americans United for Life. “If
the abortion lobby succeeds in defining abortion as health care, it
will have shifted the entire debate.”

The television ad,
which has been playing in Iowa, portrays the conversation of a husband
and wife, claiming that current health care proposals would deny
funding for essential treatments while providing public funding for
abortions. It is entitled “After a Government Takeover.”

Rev. Dr. Carlton W. Veasey, president and chief executive of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice,
said the politicians and activists who have put their names and
reputations behind this campaign are misleading their constituents.

“The Family Research Council and its allies in this campaign have
consistently and repeatedly twisted the truth to promote their agenda
and bring down health care reform,” Veasey said. “Because abortion is a
critical component of women’s reproductive health care, it should be
included in a health care package. But the fact is that there is no

Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United,
said his organization is mobilizing membership to e-mail the Family
Research Council’s offices and urge the organization to suspend its
misinformation campaign. In addition, Catholics United have planned a
series of actions throughout the August Congressional recess to set the
record straight about the current health care reform proposal and the
truth behind the Family Research Council’s activities.

“Either the Family Research Council is seriously misinformed, or it
is intentionally distorting the truth in order to derail health care
reform,” Korzen said. “If the Family Research Council was truly
committed to human life it would focus its efforts on ensuring that the
tens of millions of Americans who currently lack health insurance can
get the care they need. This attack … is unhelpful, untruthful and not
at all pro-life.”

Veasey admits that “honest people” can and do have “profound disagreements” about when and if abortion should be permissable.

“But this issue should not be used to manipulate public opinion on
health care reform,” he said. “Leaders of public opinion have a
responsibility to engage in honest discourse and to respect diverse
views. In this case, that can best be achieved by shutting down this
Web site and pulling the Family Research Council television ads set to
run in five states and any other media that distorts the facts.”

The Senate Finance Committee, led by chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and
ranking Republican Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and , has yet to publicly
present a health care reform bill. The bill that was approved Friday by
the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Finance, however, includes specific language
that would require abortion services to continue with the existing
status quo. That is, the only abortion services that could be paid for
with government funds would be those in which the mother’s life was
endangered or in cases of rape or incest.

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  • invalid-0

    hi! i like your blog.. Thanks for the sharing.

  • brianh

    Who are the two religious organizations?


    Presumably Catholics United is one of them? Although they are not a religious organization (donations to them are not tax deductible as they are a political organization). They are a group of individual’s who hate Catholic teaching and push for Obama’s initiative’s all while trying to pretend to represent the Catholic faith.


    Supposedly Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice would be the other?  Give me a break!  That’s been an abortion advocacy group for decades! Of course they’ll say that Obama’s Health plan doesn’t include an abortion mandate!


    You need to find some more objective sources please.

  • invalid-0

    This was an article about conflict within the religious community and their opposing media campaigns, not the actual content of the healthcare plan. There is plenty of room for different opinions about contraception and abortion in Catholicism. If you disagree with that, then keep in mind that Catholic-identified woman have the same rate of abortion as women in the general population… the practices of church members rarely fits with church teachins (which are often misinterpreted anyway). Being pro-choice or even having an abortion is not an excommunicatable offense, and so you cannot call liberal Catholics “not Catholic.”

  • brianh

    even having an abortion is not an excommunicatable offense

    From Catholic Canon law:

    Can. 1398 A
    person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae

     automatic excommunication for obtaining an abortion.

  • invalid-0

    Just check out the appropriate section on Catholics For Choice’s website. I’m not a pro-choice Catholic myself, and I could see some of their positions as being a little loophole-ish, however I do think they are sound interpretations of the law. Women only get excommunicated for having an abortion a minority of the time, and they are generally high-profile international cases. The rest of the time, what happens? Not all make it known to their priest of course, but what of those who confess? What about those who may not confess, but who repent individually? These women are not excommunicated. So, there is enough of a precedent of not excommunicating women who have had abortions to suggest the pro-choice position is not necessarily destructive to the Catholic faith.

  • invalid-0
  • brianh

    Anyone who knows the Church’s teaching on abortion is excommunicated.  Luckily God’s Mercy is great and the excommunication is easily lifted through confession.  This article details the specifics.


    Just because someone isn’t publicly pronounced excommunicated doesn’t mean that they aren’t.  That’s what "automatic excommunication" means.

  • invalid-0

    “Automatic” is a poor translation. It’s excommunication without a trial or investigation, which leaves the question of excommunication up to the individual involved. A woman’s own conscience determines whether she is excommunicated and what penance is necessary to return to regular church functions. That’s the position of Catholics For Choice, as I understand it. I’d wager a large amount of money that most Catholic women who have abortions do not excommunicate themselves and still go to church, take communion, confess, and go to church functions.

  • invalid-0

    Catholics United says it opposes the Stop the Mandate campaign because it is misleading and that they will get out there and campaing against it. At the same time they are supporting the Capps Amendment which will prohibit abortion services as part of any list of essential services, allow private insurers to exclude abortion coverage and forbid the use of government funds for abortion in any public option.

    This, CU, calls the “common ground” position on abortion. If there is a common ground position it is that no services should be specifically prohibited or mandated in health care reform, including abortion. These matters can be handled at the implementation level. Let’s not allow abortion to be used by those who wish to prohibit it or those who wish to mandate it to stall this important justice matter.

    By endorsing the Capps amendment, CU goes outside of common ground and becomes part of the problem not the solution. This is another example of why CU is not a reliable spokesperson or partner for common ground.

  • benatmediacurves just conducted a study with 605 viewers of an anti health care reform ad by the Family Research Council (FRC). The results showed the all parties reported that “anger” was the emotion they felt most while watching the commercial. The study also revealed that 64% of Democrats, 81% of Republicans and 71% of Independents indicating that the ad was either extremely effective or somewhat effective. For more in-depth results, please visit