So-Called Common Ground Abortion Bill
Requires Tax-Funded Abortions Nationwide

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 7, 2009


Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) --

The new legislation in Congress whose pro-abortion sponsors insist is a common ground bill that deserves support from pro-life advocates has a little-noticed provision. New analysis from Americans United for Life discovers the bill requires all 50 states to spend taxpayer dollars funding abortions.

The, that LifeNews.com has repeatedly profiled, is sponsored by pro-abortion Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a former executive director of the pro-abortion group NARAL.

Her co-sponsor is Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who flip-flopped on abortion and hasn't cast a pro-life vote since 2006.

AUL informed LifeNews.com today that, tucked into the Ryan-DeLauro bill (HR 3312) is a little-noticed provision that mandates that states provide abortion in state medical assistance programs.

Language in Title VII, section 701 of the bill says that these state programs must cover "family planning" services.

Since the 1970s, several federal appeals courts have read "family planning" in the Medicaid statute to include elective abortion, unless the bill contains an express exclusion of abortion, such as the Hyde Amendment.

Because the Ryan-DeLauro bill contains no such exclusion, it mandates abortion coverage in state medical assistance programs, says Charmaine Yoest, the president of AUL.

“Planned Parenthood and NARAL wouldn't back a so-called ‘common ground’ bill unless it included abortion services,” she said. “Efforts to paint this bill as ‘pro-life’ are deceptive.”

Yoest says states have had the option to provide different “benefit packages” to certain populations and model the coverage on “benchmark” or “benchmark equivalent” plans.

The Ryan-DeLauro Bill would mandate, for the first time, that states include abortion within the “benchmark” or “benchmark equivalent” plans.

"This would be a radical extension of federally mandated taxpayer funding of abortion and an unprecedented mandate that states cover abortion in state medical assistance programs," she says.

Clarke Forsythe, the senior attorney for Americans United for Life, agrees.

“The bill takes away the flexibility that the states have had in designing their plans, by mandating that ‘family planning’ -- which federal courts read to include elective abortion -- be included. Under Ryan-DeLauro, states can no longer opt out from paying for elective abortion," he said.

The Ryan-DeLauro bill is so off base compared to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church that Ryan's own Catholic bishop has urged opposition to the bill.

Related web sites:
Americans United for Life -
http://www.aul.org