Roundup: Abortion Once Again Debated At White House Healthcare Summit


Were you glued to your computer monitor yesterday watching the White House’s Healthcare Summit? If not you probably didn’t notice the glaring lack of women legislators invited. Twenty-two invitees and only four women, one of whom happened to be the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Naturally the issue of abortion was one of the many objections Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner raised about the healthcare reform bill:

For 30 years, we’ve had a federal law that says that we’re not going to have taxpayer funding of abortions. We’ve had this debate in the House. It was a very serious debate.

But in the House, the House spoke. And the House upheld the language we have had in law for 30 years, that there will be no taxpayer funding of abortions.

This bill that we have before us, and there was no reference to that issue in your outline, Mr. President, begins — for the first time in 30 years allows for the taxpayer-funding of abortions.

So, Mr. President, what we’ve been saying for a long time is let’s scrap the bill. Let’s start with a clean sheet of paper on those things that we can agree with. Let’s take a step-by-step approach that’ll bring down the cost of health insurance in America, because if we bring down the cost of health insurance, we can expand access.

President Barack Obama didn’t address Boehner’s statement about abortion directly, since it was only one of the many different aspects of the president’s bill he said didn’t like. But Obama did say:

There are so many things that you just said that people on this side would profoundly disagree with — and I would have to say, you know, based on my analysis, just aren’t true — that I think that the conversation would start bogging down pretty quick.

So it was Nancy Pelosi in the closing remarks who took the time to correct the record that, once again, there is no public funding of abortion in the healthcare reform package.

I think it’s really important to note, though, and I want the record to show, because two statements were made here that are not factual in relationship to these bills.

My colleague, Mr. Leader Boehner, the law of the land is there is no public funding of abortion, and there is no public funding of abortion in these bills. And I don’t want our listeners or viewers to get the wrong impression from what you said.

In Other News

The White House Healthcare Summit wasn’t the only legislative debate about abortion that happened yesterday. In Kentucky, after an hour-long hearing, a House committee killed a bill requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports:

A House committee Thursday killed a bill that would have required doctors providing abortions to perform an ultrasound before the procedure and offer the patient a chance to view the images of the fetus.

Senate Bill 38, which passed the Senate Jan. 25, failed in the Health and Welfare Committee on a 7-7 tie vote. It marked the fourth year the measure has passed the Senate but died in a House committee.

The bill also would have required a woman seeking an abortion to get face-to-face counseling at the clinic 24 hours in advance rather than by telephone, as the law now allows.

Meanwhile, up north in Alaska a judge is expected to rule next month on a ballot initiative requiring parental notification for abortion. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

An Anchorage Superior Court judge is expected to have a decision within a month on the wording of an abortion initiative targeted for the August ballot.

The measure would require doctors to notify a parent before a girl under 18 could have an abortion.

The Anchorage Daily News reports lawyers presented arguments Wednesday over whether the initiative is clear about penalties doctors would face.

Attorney Jeff Feldman, representing Planned Parenthood of Alaska, argued the initiative fails to make clear to voters it could land doctors in jail for five years if they don’t track down a parent, verify their identification and personally tell them of the procedure.

Bonus item: The Washington Post has a profile of the lengths one doctor has to go to provide abortion care for women in South Dakota.

February 26, 2010

The Summit Sideshow Wall Street Journal

Obama dismisses pro-life concerns about health care reform Catholic Culture

Let’s call ‘emergency contraception’ what it really is The Tidings

DOH chief: We’ve no money for pills, condoms ABS CBN News

Dramatic fall in teen pregnancy Swindon Advertiser

February 25, 2010

Bishops and Pawns Huffington Post

Blue skies, but no smooth sailing Boston Globe

Pregnancy Care Center in Aurora to close March 31 News-Leader.com

First-time fornicators should focus on foreplay Daily Cardinal

Tucson offers sex health variety Arizona Daily Wildcat

Bird hormone leads to new forms of birth control 13abc.com

Kentucky’s GOP Senate candidate spar over who is more pro-life MiamiHerald.com

Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson Leaves Pro-Life Group After 33 Years LifeNews.com

Pro-Life Group Says Campaign to Stop Abortion After George Tiller is Successful LifeNews.com

Pro-life leaders say Pelosi lied, again, on federal abortion funding Washington Examiner

Pro-Life Movie Sarah’s Choice Makes Television Debut Saturday on TBN LifeNews.com

Faith schools must teach sex and contraception Jewish Chronicle

Smart Girls Guide to Spring Break Huffington Post

He Stood Up to the World; Britain’s Sex Ed Fight Catholic.net

Rep. Van Zant introduces bill to ban abortions in state Ocala

A child herself, she awoke after abortion to a sight of horror Philadelphia Inquirer

Abortion language could cost health care vote; Dahlkemper cool to Senate version Sharon Herald

Spain’s Parliament Passes Law Expanding Abortion, No Parental Consent for Teens LifeNews.com

Anti-abortion group: Planned Parenthood lied about girl Madison.com

Angie Jackson Live-Tweets Her Abortion ABC News

Alaska abortion initiative wording debated Anchorage Daily News

Abortion hearing adds metal… Omaha World-Herald

Abortion-Related Bill Defeated WJTV

Minnesota abortion provider helps meet need in South Dakota Washington Post

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Faces Abortion Lecture at Congressional Hearing LifeNews.com

Proposed Bill Would Outlaw Most Abortions After 20 Weeks of Pregnancy ABC News

Obama Challenged on Abortion in Health Care at Summit, but Dismisses Subject Lifesite

House panel kills abortion ultrasound bill Louisville Courier-Journal

Archbishop Dolan: No honors for pro-abortion Catholic politicians Catholic Culture

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