MANHATTAN DECLARATION: PRO-LIFE NEWS
In an attempt to quell the outrage of pro-lifers that taxpayer dollars might be used to pay for abortion, President Obama signed an Executive Order on March 24, 2010, “to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services.” The president's Executive Order did not satisfy pro-life groups, however. In fact, as the pro-life Family Research Council noted, the "uselessness" of the executive order was one of the few things that FRC and Planned Parenthood agreed on during the health care debate.
The National Right to Life Committee says that on June 28th, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario (appointed by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell) issued a press release announcing that the federal Health and Human Services Department had approved his agency's proposal for establishing a high-risk health insurance pool in Pennsylvania
The National Right To Life (NRLC) noted that the Pennsylvania plan's section on abortion – found on page 14 of the plan -- says "elective abortions are not covered." But NRLC called that statement a "red herring”, because the operative language does not define 'elective.’
The Pennsylvania plan says it includes “only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of (Pennsylvania law),” and it specifically refers to 18 Pa.C.S. § 3204-3206 and 35 P.S. §§10101, 10103-10105. The most pertinent law, according to NRLC, is 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204, which says that an abortion is legal in Pennsylvania if a single physician believes that it is “necessary” based on “all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age) relevant to the well-being of the woman.”
NRLC noted that Pennsylvania law bans abortion prior to 24 weeks, only if it is being done "solely because of the sex of the unborn child. Therefore, given the way the guidelines are written, under the Pennsylvania plan, “federal funds will subsidize coverage of abortion performed for any reason, except sex selection," said NRLC's Johnson.
“The Pennsylvania proposal conspicuously lacks language that would prevent funding of abortions performed as a method of birth control or for any other reason, except sex selection -- and the Obama Administration has now approved this," Johnson said. Susan Jones, Senior Ed at CNSNews.com 7/15/10
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