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So does the Baucus plan offer abortion coverage?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 02, 2009

President Obama has said that an acceptable health-care reform proposal should not require taxpayers to subsidize abortion. Agreed.

The key question now is whether or not the proposal under discussion on Capitol Hill-- the Baucus plan-- actually does provide abortion coverage. Pro-life activists say that it does. Pro-abortion activists say that it doesn't. (And yet, curiously, pro-abortion activists are happy with the plan. Hmmm.) 

Whose analysis should you believe? It's not easy to find a neutral observer. And no reasonable person would say that the New York Times is neutral; the editorial policy of the Times is forthrightly in support of legal abortion on demand. Still, a Times editorial on the subject leaves little doubt that the Baucus plan would do exactly what pro-life activists say it would do: open the door to taxpayer subsidies.

Oh, they wouldn't be very extensive subsidies, the Times argues: "This proposal would prohibit the use of federal tax subsidies to pay for almost all abortions." Notice that key word: "almost." 

Later, after discussing the prospect for amendments to the Baucus plan, the Times lets the cat out of the bag:

There should be no restrictions on abortion coverage in the exchanges. Health care reformers should not retreat on this issue...

The Times opposes amendments that would restrict abortion coverage. And you can't "restrict" something that doesn't exist.




Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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