Even Without A Senate Bill, Conservative Women's Group Spreads Misinformation About Choice Provisions

August 24, 2009 3:41 pm ET

The anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List has released a new ad targeting Senator Harry Reid's position on abortion.  Keeping with the conservative habit of broadcasting bald-faced lies, this new ad is full of misinformation and distortions because it references legislation that hasn't been written yet.

Susan B. Anthony List Posts New, Misleading Ad On Senator Reid's Position On Choice

Susan B. Anthony List:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he is pro-life, but he voted to use U.S. tax dollars to fund overseas abortions. He also voted to deny healthcare to unborn children of low-income women. Now Harry Reid is pushing a massive, government-run healthcare system requiring taxpayer funding for abortions, and he won't allow doctors or nurses the right to object. Harry Reid says he's pro-life, so call him, and tell him this time to vote that way." [Susan B. Anthony List ad, "Tell Harry Reid to Vote Pro-Life," via YouTube, 8/24/09]

Because THERE IS NOT A SENATE BILL, The Key Portion Of The Ad Is Clearly A Fabrication Meant To Incite Fear And Anger Among Anti-Choice Americans

The House Bill, However, Is Clear On Abortion

The House Passed An Abortion Compromise With Specific Provisions Regarding The Use Of Taxpayer Dollars.  According to the nonpartisan PolitiFact.com: "A compromise plan offered by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, seeks to alleviate many of the concerns expressed by abortion opponents - particularly the issue of tax dollars being used to subsidize abortions - while specifically making abortion coverage available in both the public plan, as well as in private plans participating in the exchange. Under the Capps amendment:

  • Abortion coverage would not be part of the required minimum benefits package. In other words, insurers would not be required to offer, or be prohibited from offering, abortion services in order to participate in the exchange.
  • The public plan could include abortion coverage, but the cost of the additional coverage could not be paid through public subsidies (tax dollars), only through the premiums paid by the insured. And with private plans in the exchange, again, federal subsidies could not be used for abortion coverage.
  • Public funding would only be permitted for abortions allowed under the Hyde Act - in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger.
  • At least one plan in every region must offer full abortion coverage; and one must not.
  • Any insurance plan participating in the exchange cannot discriminate against hospitals or other health care facilities (such as Catholic hospitals) that are unwilling to provide abortions.
  • The plan will not pre-empt any state laws regarding abortion, such as parental notification laws." [PolitiFact.com, 8/7/09, emphasis added]