Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FOCA by any other name still stinks

The tens of millions of postcards sent to Congress have convinced them that openly advocating passage of FOCA will be highly unpopular. So have they given up? No way! Instead, they have adopted a "FOCA-by-stealth" strategy, by including many of FOCA's provisions in the health care reform package.

Although the Democratic leadership has been coyly insisting that there is no abortion funding / mandate / expansion in the provisions of the bill, the way they vote tells a different story.

As FRC reports:
The Senate HELP Committee continued its markup of the Kennedy healthcare legislation yesterday. Several amendments were offered to protect conscience rights and to prevent funding or mandating of abortion. Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) amendment to prevent funding of abortion failed. Sen. Michael Enzi's (R-Wy.) amendment to prevent the healthcare bill from mandating abortion coverage was defeated. Since there is nothing in this legislation to prevent mandating abortion as a covered service, it would be mandated--the Obama Administration health bureaucracy will see to that.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) also offered several amendments to the Kennedy legislation. His amendment to codify the Hyde/Weldon conscience protection law was defeated. His amendment to prevent the healthcare bill from preempting state laws on abortion was defeated. With the exception of Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the HELP Democrats voted against it. They opposed preventing this legislation from trumping various state laws, such as parental consent laws. One bright note, Sen. Coburn's amendment to protect healthcare workers' conscience rights with regard to euthanasia passed by a voice vote. The amendment ensures that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, including healthcare plans, are not forced to violate their conscience on the issue of euthanasia.

Click here for FRC's in-depth analysis of the HELP Committee votes.
With the exception of Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), all the Democratics on the HELP committee have refused to vote to protect conscience rights, to prevent funding or mandating of abortion, or to prevent preempting of state laws on abortion. If they are telling the truth and the health bill will not violate conscience, fund or mandate abortion, or preempt pro-life state laws, then why did they refuse to vote to put these statements explicitly in the bill?

Want to do something about it? Here are some suggestions from NRLC.
- Go to the National Right to Life Legislative Action Center, here, and take a few minutes to use the form there to send messages to your two U.S. senators and to your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, to urge them to oppose any federal "health care reform" legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortion.

- Please TELEPHONE the offices of your two U.S. senators, give your name and address, and tell the senators' staff persons that you wish to be recorded as "opposed to Senator Kennedy's health care bill because it contains many pro-abortion mandates." The offices of any U.S. senator can be reached through 202-224-3121. Also, please TELEPHONE the office of your U.S. House member, give your name and address, and inform the staff person that you wish to be recorded as "opposed to the House Democratic Leadership health care reform bill because it contains many pro-abortion mandates." You can reach any U.S. House member's office through 202-225-3121. You can also find the direct-dial numbers (and fax numbers) for the Washington and in-state offices of your U.S. senators and U.S. House member by calling up their individual profiles on this website, here.

- Send short letters to the "letters to the editor" features of your local newspapers, in order to alert your fellow pro-life citizens to the sweeping pro-abortion mandates that the Obama White House and the pro-abortion lobby are trying to smuggle into law through "health care reform." You can find contact information for your local news media in the "Media Guide" on the NRLC website, here.

No comments: