Preserving federal policy on abortion

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Nov. 9 front-page article "Abortion an obstacle to health-care bill" characterized our amendment to the House health-care reform bill as going beyond current prohibitions against public funding for abortions.

In fact, our amendment only ensures that the government restrictions placed on federal funding for abortion are extended to the new health-care systems, the public option and plans subsidized in the proposed insurance exchange. We intentionally used the same legislative language that governs the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan to achieve this goal.

The language added to the bill Saturday preserves the restriction established in the Hyde amendment. We are not looking to restrict access to abortion, only to preserve the right of conscience for the more than 70 percent of Americans who believe that no federal funds should subsidize abortions or plans that include abortion.

Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Washington

The writers are members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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