Thursday, November 12, 2009
David Frum needs a Fact Check
The National Post headline read "US Health Care Plan May Ban Abortion". Much as pro-lifers would love that to be accurate, it is a distortion of the facts.
The US is not about to ban abortion. As Frum's article does go on to say the issue is about federal funding of abortion, whether insurance companies that receive federal subsidies can cover abortion. The Stupak amendment would say no, and as Frum accurately points out, this would eventually leave most women without coverage for abortions.
Somehow this would ban abortions, despite the fact that currently only about 13 percent of abortions are directly billed to private insurance companies.
David Frum also says "until now, relatively few women of childbearing age have had the benefit of federal funding. Poor women on Medicaid, under-18 girls on S-Chip, military women, and women who use the Indian Health Service were affected. But most women of childbearing age are enrolled in private coverage, and private plans almost always cover medically necessary abortions."
While this is presumably true, the article implies that medically necessary abortions will no longer be covered. What it neglects to mention is that under the Stupak amendment abortions will still be covered if the mother's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. It will not cover elective abortions or some abortions that are considered "medically necessary", such as when the baby has Down Syndrome.