Lack of Abortion Language Under Fire in President's Health Plan
UNDATED- President Barack Obama's health care bill is sparking debate among Christians and conservatives, but it is not just because of it's price tag. Critics say it is because of what it does not say about abortion.
You won't find one reference to abortion in the 1,018 pages of the president's plan. Local pro-life opponents like Louise Walter said that silence speaks volumes. Walter is president of the Talbot County chapter of the Maryland Right to Life organization.
"There is an indirect funding because when they say reproductive healthcare, it means abortion," Walter said. "There's just no denying that."
Rita Denney is executive director of the Sussex Care Pregnancy Center in Georgetown. She said the center offers care to those who are pregnant and counseling to those who have had abortions.
Denney said abortions are an elective service and therefore, should not be paid for with taxpayer dollars.
"I don't see it as a medical care issue, for me, because it's a choice," Denney said. "If I was getting a nose job, I wouldn't expect the American people to pay for it."
Planned Parenthood of Maryland said critics are blowing the issue out of proportion. They issued the following statement on Wednesday:
"Nothing in any of the current health care reform bills mandates abortion coverage - or any other type of health care service. Abortion is not mandated any more than any other medical procedure in health care reform. Like all other coverage decisions, it would not be determined by Congress, but instead, decided by a panel of medical experts. Opponents of women's health and health care reform are exploiting this legislation as a way to push for unprecedented prohibitions on abortion coverage in the private marketplace. And they are trying to undermine health care reform."
Researchers said debating the abortion issue could delay a final vote on the bill. Adding it would pushing back the president's August deadline to pass health care reform.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said earlier this week that there will not be a vote on the bill before Friday. That is when lawmakers are slated to leave town for their August recess.
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