/PRNewswire/ -- Today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) released his long awaited "manager's amendment" with new language dealing with the abortion issue. The new language is being trumpeted as including an opt-out provision that actually makes the opt-out provision in the original bill worse by requiring the state to either cover all abortions or opt out of all abortions. This will make it difficult for states that currently include exceptions for life, rape, and incest. This so-called "compromise" language makes it more likely that these states will cover all abortions. Moreover, there is no individual opt-out ensuring that everyone in the plans would pay for other people's abortions. In contrast to the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment, this new language undermines the principles of the Hyde Amendment.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had this to say about the legislation:
"The Senate health care bill will set up the federal government as being brokers for the abortion industry. No Senator or organization can call themselves pro-life if they support such language.
"This so-called 'compromise' includes the accounting gimmicks that we have seen previously proposed. The new language also does nothing to protect individual consciences. Every purchaser of insurance will be forced to pay for other people's abortions in a more direct manner than ever before.
"The replacement of the public option resembles the current health plan for federal employees, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP), with one notable exception, the FEHBP excludes plans that cover abortions while Senator Reid's bill would mandate abortion coverage.
"There are many reasons to reject the overall bill, including the cost to future generations while doing nothing to actually reform our health care system. This bill would now require government funds to pay for plans that cover elective abortion which is a direct violation of the principles set forth over thirty years ago with the Hyde Amendment. It's now very clear that this abortion funding bill should be thrown into the trash heap of bad ideas and misplaced priorities.
"I ask Senators Ben Nelson (D-Nebr.) and Robert Casey (D-Penn.) to remember the promises they made to protect the most innocent among us and reject Senator Reid's bill by voting against any procedural motions on the legislation."
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