I’ve been watching a lot of Mythbusters episodes lately. I love this show, because it’s entertaining, I’ve already heard a lot of the myths they feature, and most importantly, I want to know the facts at the end. So today I get to play Adam Savage for a day and bust some myths about abortion and health care reform. After spending hours and hours of dedicated research looking at what has been said by many pro-life and pro-abortion-choice organizations, as well as more independent groups like FactCheck and Politifact, I’ve found a few myths commonly heard in this debate to bust.
Myth: Abortion won’t be included in the health care reform program since the word “abortion” isn’t in the bill.
Fact: That statement is completely disingenuous. As Elizabeth rightly pointed out in her first post, just because the word “abortion” isn’t in the bill doesn’t mean it would be excluded from being covered. Based on legal history and the understanding of how abortion advocates define “reproductive health,” we can be pretty sure that if “reproductive health” is covered, abortion will be too.
It’s very interesting to me when Planned Parenthood’s website makes a statement like this:
“Nothing in any of the current health care reform bills mandates abortion coverage — or any other type of health care procedure,”
when just 5 paragraphs earlier on the same webpage, PP says,
“All versions of the health care reform bill would expand coverage, protect women's access to reproductive health care, and allow women to continue to see the health care providers they know and trust (like Planned Parenthood).”
Planned Parenthood isn’t the only abortion advocacy group that seems to agree that abortion would be covered under the health care reform bill:
• President Barack Obama: "Well, look, in my mind reproductive care is essential care, basic care so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose...insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care...that's going to be absolutely vital." Source: During Q&A session at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund Event on July 17, 2007.)
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "Reproductive health includes access to abortion...We are now an Administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care." Source: In front of House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 22, 2009. YouTube video here.
• National Abortion Federation: "NAF supports health care reform as a way to increase access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care, for all women." Source: NAF website.
• Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: "Let there be no mistake, basic healthcare includes abortion services."
Source: An email action alert regarding health care reform issued July 1, 2009 from RCRC President Reverend Carlton W. Veazey.
• NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League): "(I)f, indeed, we can advance a panel or commission, then I am very optimistic about reproductive health care being part of this entire package." Source: NARAL President Nancy Keenan spoke to the American Prospect about the health care debate.
• RHRealityCheck: "health reform is the issue to insist upon for Obama for his first term--he needs the victory. ‘He needs us. Public option is key, and using "medical standard of care" in language instead of listing reproductive services that will siphon off votes." (sic) Source: A RHRealityCheck blogger wrote this about what Wendy Chavkin, former Board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health said in a forum.
Of course, if that’s not enough evidence, than check out FactCheck, TIME magazine, Obama supporter Jim Wallis and the Associated Press confirming that the current health care reform bills include abortion coverage.
Reproductive health care, in the minds (and pens) of the current administration includes abortion access.