Abortion a Major Issue in Health Care Reform
As Congress tries to pull together some type health care overhaul that will satisfy all party members and hopefully the masses, many groups are fighting what they believecouldbethe expansion of abortion availability in government-financed community health centers. Currently, there are strict rules on how the governmentallows abortions to be covered by federalhealth insurance and now President Barack Obama is fighting the accusations by reiterating the government’s intentions for the overhaul.
Current Federal Policy on Abortions
The current policy on using federal money to pay for abortions is simple: the government is only willing to allow for federal dollars to be used as a form of health insurance to pay for abortions if the pregnancies are considered life-threatening or they were the result of rape or incest.
According to government officials, there have been laws in place for over 30 years that regulate this activity, which means the use offederal funds for abortions under any other circumstances is strictly prohibited and will continue to be.
Groups Fear New Clinics Will Stretch Rules on Abortions
However, anti-abortion groups believe that a new provision in the health care reform bill could change this. A new Community Health Center Fund has been established by the health care legislation that would create government-financed health centers.
The groups worry that the option of abortion would be expanded to these health centers, thus going against current federal policy of using government money as a health insurance option to pay for the procedure.
Amemo from the Health andHuman Services department, however,contends that both the President and the Secretary of the department plan to maintain their strong commitment to ensuring that nothing in relation to the health care reform will change this policy.
With the state of women’s health changingasof late due to legislative adjustments, anti-abortion groups hope to maintain some consistency in Federal policy. However, the changes that will occur with health insurance and more as a result of the new bill have yet to be truly seen.