Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

What a demagogue, devoid of intellectual integrity, lying about a bill that would certainly not prevent dying women from being treated medically in an abortion situation.

In the above embedded video, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) claims that under the terms of the “Protect Life Act:

...women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene...It’s just appalling.

No, Pelosi’s “leadership” is appalling.  And note, it isn’t a misstatement to a question.  She made a point of bringing it up and looked at notes before doing so.

To see the unveracity of Pelosi’s claim, let’s look at the bill itself, shall we?  From HR 358:
‘(1) IN GENERAL- No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), including credits applied toward qualified health plans under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or cost-sharing reductions under section 1402 of this Act, may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except--

‘(A) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or

‘(B) in the case where a pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

So, a woman with a troubled pregnancy that could endanger her life could have a what used to be called therapeutic abortion, covered by insurance if the bill becomes law.  In other words, there is no way to reasonably construe the bill as requiring women to be left to die on the floor—which would be illegal for a hospital or clinic to do in any event, even if they never got paid.  Good grief.

And notice, states can fund abortion coverage under Obamacare and the bill would not prevent private insurance companies from offering coverage so long as no federal moneys help pay for the premiums.

In essence, the bill merely extends the Hyde Amendment—and not even that far since states can pay for abortion coverage. Hyde, which has been the law for decades, prevents Medicaid from covering abortion—whether with state or federal funds—and poor women are not being left by doctors to die on the floor.

This is a prime example of why Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House.  What a disgusting and nasty display of political demagoguery.

Update: Commenter Raven suggests that this might be the part of the bill about which Pelosi claims women will be made to die on the floor:

‘(1) NONDISCRIMINATION- A Federal agency or program, and any State or local government that receives Federal financial assistance under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), may not subject any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination, or require any health plan created or regulated under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) to subject any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination, on the basis that the health care entity refuses to—

‘(A) undergo training in the performance of induced abortions;

‘(B) require or provide such training;

‘(C) perform, participate in, provide coverage of, or pay for induced abortions; or

‘(D) provide referrals for such training or such abortions.

That’s a pretty standard medical conscience clause, which now exist in federal and state laws.  No women are “dying on the floor” now, and it won’t happen if the bill becomes law. Indeed, no hospital or clinic has a conscience right to just stand around while a woman dies in this circumstance.  So, my post remains valid regardless of the clause to which she is referring. Pure damagoguery.  For more on my take about conscience clauses, hit this link.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles