Rep. Pence Wrongly Asserts Health Care Reform Funds Abortions

March 16, 2010 2:01 pm ET

During a floor speech on March 16, 2010, Rep. Mike Pence falsely claimed the health care reform bill contained "public funding of abortion." In reality, the bill explicitly bans federal money from funding abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the health of the mother is endangered.

Rep. Pence Claims Health Care Reform Would Fund Abortions

REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): ... The bill, with its cornhusker kickback, with its public funding of abortion, simply couldn't pass the House floor. [Pence Floor Statement, 3/16/10]

Health Care Reform Does Not Provide Funding For Abortion

ABC's World News Fact Check's Claim That Health Care Reform Bill Funds Abortion.  On March 4, 2010, ABC's World News Tonight examined the claim that the health care reform bill provided federal funding for abortion.  They found the claim to be "wrong":

[ABC News, World News Tonight, 3/4/10]

PolitiFact: "No Federal Funds - Whether Through Tax Credits Or Cost-Sharing Credits - Could Be Used To Pay For Abortions." According to Pulitzer Prize winning

The Baucus plan explicitly states that no federal funds - whether through tax credits or cost-sharing credits - could be used to pay for abortions (again, unless the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger). Insurers participating in any state-based exchange that offers coverage for abortion "must segregate from any premium and cost-sharing credits an amount of each enrollee's private premium dollars that is determined to be sufficient to cover the provision of those services."


[I]f the government isn't paying any more to an insurance company to pay for abortion coverage, it means that insurance companies that offer such coverage are. So essentially that cost will be passed on to the insured people who select plans that cover abortions. Perhaps a federal court would view this differently, but we think the court of common sense says that if someone claims abortion would be subsidized with federal funds, it suggests more federal tax dollars would pour into plans that cover abortion. But they won't. The added cost will be borne by the people who select plans that include abortion coverage. Those premiums will pay for abortions. [, 9/21/09]

Expert: "The Senate Bill, Like The House Bill, Prohibits The Use Of Federal Premium Subsidies To Pay For Abortions." In an op-ed in The Hill, Washington and Lee University law professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost wrote, "I have taught and written about healthcare law and policy for 30 years and am an author of the most widely used health law teaching book... The Senate bill, like the House bill, prohibits the use of federal premium subsidies to pay for abortions that are not covered by Medicaid (that is, cases of rape and incest or of physical threat to the life of the mother); provides that the government cannot require health plans to cover abortion; prohibits health plans and federal agencies or state and local governments receiving federal funds from discriminating against providers because of their unwillingness to provide for, pay for, provide coverage for or refer for abortion; and leaves in place all state laws regulating abortion and federal law regarding conscience protection or willingness to provide abortion.  Neither bill affects abortion coverage through employment-based plans." [Jost op-ed, The Hill, 3/11/10]