Consider these points:
1. The Senate language that supposedly bans abortion funding relies on a segregation of funds model that will at best free up resources for the funding of abortion and at worst be a total sham. This is not the approach taken under current law to denying federally subsidized abortion coverage to military personnel and federal employees. At the very least, the plan directly subsidizes insurance that covers abortion.
2. The Hyde Amendment is not a government-wide ban on public funding of abortion. It is a rider attached to a particular appropriation. Not only could a future Congress fail to extend the Hyde Amendment, but this health care bill creates funding streams that are not covered by Hyde.
3. Unlike the Stupak regulations, the Nelson regulations do not even cover the $11 billion that is to go to community health centers.
4. Courts have ruled that where there is no specific statutory prohibition, public health programs must fund abortions. Based on these rulings, Medicaid originally paid for about 300,000 abortions a year. That is why the Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976. Other public health programs that were not covered by Hyde Amendment-like provisions, like the Indian Health Services Program, eventually subsidized abortions. Specific congressional action was required to stop it. These community health centers are not required to report abortions.
5. A basic rule of thumb is that if you don't want public funding of abortion, the legislature has to specifically forbid it. Where there is no ban, there will eventually be abortion funding. Where the ban relies on accounting gimmicks, it invites abortion funding.
John McCormack has a more detailed post at the Weekly Standard. Any self-described pro-life Democrat who votes for this bill is in fact voting for taxpayer funding of abortion.
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