When asked about abortion prohibitions in the bill, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said last week that “a benefit package is better left to experts in the medical field to determine how best and what procedures to cover.”
That is precisely what worries antiabortion advocates.
“By being silent on this issue, [Obama is] actually making an affirmative statement in favor of taxpayer abortions,” Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said.
As it stands, the House bill would create a Health Benefits Advisory Committee to prescribe which “essential benefits” should be offered in any government-supported insurance plan.
Opponents of abortion rights believe that unless there is specific wording to the contrary, abortion services will be included. “Unless you can specifically exclude abortion, it will be part of any federalized healthcare system,” said Charmaine Yoest, executive director of Americans United for Life.