Southern Religion

Obama settled the health-care/abortion issue (you may have missed it)

An unfazed President Barack Obama laid down the law on the role of abortion in health-care reform, immediately after S.C. Rep. Joe Wilson’s factually wrong and possibly censurable “lie” outburst.

There will be no federal funding of abortions or abolition of conscience laws.

From the transcript of Obama’s presentation:

THE PRESIDENT: … There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You lie! (Boos.)

THE PRESIDENT: It’s not true. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.

Convoluted struggle over the issue will continue, as pro-life blogger Jill Stanek demonstrated today with her argument that Obama is merely attempting to create a myth. That view isn’t taking hold. Two big Catholic health care organizations were persuaded by Obama’s speech, as was the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Judging from the CNN poll and the Democracy Corps dial testing, so were Americans in general.


It is rare indeed for GetReligion to err, but they drifted away from the dock when suggesting President Obama said or implied that pro-life/anti-abortion advocates were spreading lies. Obama’s entire statement on that subject is excerpted above. He spoke of “misunderstanding.”


September 10, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Health, Law, Obama, Politics | , , ,


  1. Obama is dissembling on this subject. Check out the very thorough article on abortion and healthcare reform at here:

    Comment by James Anderson | September 10, 2009

    • That’s an excellent article. You may be interested in the two additional sources to which we link at the end of Randall Terry’s misleading circus.

      Comment by baptistplanet | September 11, 2009

  2. First, Obama was not talking about any of the different bills.

    Factcheck discusses the Capp Amendment to HR 3200. Read FactCheck very carefully. There are several contradicting statements, including within the same paragraph.

    PolitiFact does not agree with FactCheck:

    FactCheck is only correct if considering the current law (Hyde Amendment) that allows abortions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. The Capp Amendment does NOT change current law on federal funding for abortions.


    “The Capps amendment does contain a statement – as we noted in an earlier article – that prohibits the use of public money to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. That would still allow the public plan to cover all abortions, so long as the plans took in enough private money in the form of premiums paid by individuals or their employers.”

    The following statement by FactCheck is NOT accurate and contradicts what they said in the previous sentences: “The Capps language also would allow private plans purchased with federal subsidies (“affordability credits” for low-income families and workers) to cover abortion.”

    Read the Capps Amendment:

    Page 2-3
    Allows Federal funds for abortions allowed under current law, which means the Hyde Amendment would have to be overturned. The Hyde Amendment allows payment for abortions to safe the mother’s life, incest, and rape.

    Page 4:
    (2) SEGREGATION OF FUNDS.-If a qualified health benefits plan provides coverage of services described in section 122(d)(4)(A), the plan shall provide assurances satisfactory to the Commissioner that-

    (A) any affordability credits provided under subtitle C of title II are not used for purposes of paying for such services; and

    (B) only premium amounts attributable to the actuarial value described in section 113(b)
    are used for such purpose.

    Page 6:

    -An affordability credit may not be used for payment for services described in section 122(d)(4)(A).

    Comment by Julie | September 12, 2009

    • Julie, you are right that Obama is not talking about “any of the different bills.” He is making a commitment and describing his administration’s plan. Further work with Congress is apparently required, followed by care at implementation time after a law is passed. Nonetheless, his commitment is clear.

      Comment by baptistplanet | September 12, 2009

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