Senate Health Care Bill Gives $7 Billion to Health Centers, Could Fund Abortions

A new analysis of the Senate health care bill finds a section of the manager’s amendment Senate Leader Harry Reid added to the bill that could find billions of dollars going to abortion funding. The little noticed provision could open a new door to direct taxpayer funding of abortions.

During the closing stages of the Senate’s deliberations on its health care bill, HR 3590, Reid got his lengthy manager’s amendment added to the measure.

That contained language designed to secure the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster against the bill and it included the Nelson-Reid deal that allows states to force taxpayers to fund abortions.

Now, in a memo the National Right to Life Committee has furnished, a new analysis of the manager’s amendment reveals $7 billion in funding for Community Health Centers buried deep in Section 10503 of the 383-page amendment.

NRLC says the money could be funneled to abortion businesses to pay for abortions and will not be subject to provisions like the Hyde Amendment that stops abortion funding.

“Because this is a direct appropriation in the health care bill itself, these funds will not flow through the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services,” NRLC says. “Therefore, these funds would not be covered by the Hyde Amendment, which is a limitation provision that has been attached to the annual HHS appropriations bill in past years.”

There is also no other language anywhere in the Senate bill, despite protests from supporters of the measure to the contrary, that limits the community health center funding to non-abortion services.

National Right to Life also indicates that federal law doesn’t prohibit these federally-funded centers from doing abortions.

“Also, there is no restriction in the current laws authorizing CHCs that restricts these centers from performing abortions,” the pro-life group says.

Referring to Section 330 of the Public Health Services Act, NRLC says federal law says CHCs can only use Section 330 funds “for purposes within the scope of their grants, but one can assume that grant applications that included (for example) ‘reproductive services’ would not be deemed objectionable under the Obama Administration, and abortions could be subsumed under various other classifications as well.”

Right to Life says the concern is not a hypothetical one.

NRLC points out that the there is already an organized effort underway by the Reproductive Health Access Project to encourage Community Health Centers to perform abortions, “as an integrated part of primary health care.”

In fact, the Reproductive Health Access Project and the Abortion Access Project, two pro-abortion groups, have already produced an “administrative billing guide” to help CHCs integrate abortion into their practices within the confines of existing federal and state restrictions.

NRLC says the inclusion of the funding for CHCs with no abortion limitations presents another reason why the final health care bill must contain the Stupak amendment to truly ban abortion funding.

“The sudden appearance in the Senate health care bill of $7 billion in direct appropriations for CHCs, unconstrained by the Hyde Amendment or any other impediment to the use of the funds for direct federal funding of elective abortion, provides one more illustration of why it is critical that the final health care reform bill include the Stupak-Pitts language,” the group says.

Source Steven Ertelt, Editor,, January 12, 2010.

One response to “Senate Health Care Bill Gives $7 Billion to Health Centers, Could Fund Abortions

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