Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Top Obama advisor David Axelrod on Sunday confirmed what pro-life advocates already suspected would happen. He said President Barack Obama will work with congressional Democrats to remove the abortion funding ban the House approved in its version of the government-run health care bill.
Axelrod says that, because the Stupak amendment allegedly goes beyond the status quo under the Hyde amendment (which bans abortion funding under Medicaid), Obama will make sure the amendment is yanked during the conference committee.
That's the part of the legislative process that will occur if and when the Senate approves its own health care bill, which will likely start debate with abortion funding.
"The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn't believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion," Axelrod said today on CNN's State of the Union program.
"This shouldn't be a debate about abortion. And he's going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed," he added. "I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly."
Axelrod said that an agreement with ruling Democrats in Congress to remove the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions "can and will be worked through before it reaches his desk."
Axelrod's comments come after Obama's own remarks which made it appear he would favor removing or weakening the Stupak amendment.
"I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill," Obama told ABC News last week. "And we're not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions."
Obama appeared to side with abortion advocates who claim the Stupak amendment in the health care bill somehow changes the current status quo on government abortion funding.
“There needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo” on abortion, Obama added. “And that’s the goal.”
Obama also sided with pro-abortion groups in saying he wanted to make sure “we're not restricting women’s insurance choices,” because he had promised that “if you're happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, it’s not going to change.”
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, chided Obama for his comments.
"The only thing that will prevent the health care bill from being 'an abortion bill' is precisely the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, as the House of Representatives recognized by a 46-vote margin," he said.
"The phoniness of Obama's claim that he has been trying to preserve the 'status quo' on abortion policy should be evident to any observer by now. In reality, the White House and top Democratic congressional leaders have been working hard to create a national federal government health plan that would fund abortion on demand, just as Obama promised Planned Parenthood," Johnson added.
- Senate Health Care Bill Will Likely Fund Abortions, Stupak Amdt Would be Killed LifeSite)
- Analysis: The Threats to Pro-Life Values Remaining in the U.S. House Health Care Bill (LSN)
- Going to Extremes: Pro-Aborts Argue Pro-Life Health Amendment "Paves the Way to Religious Discrimination" (LSN)
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