President Obama attempted to allay the concerns of pro-life advocates last week by assuring Americans that federal funding for abortion will not be included in "his" health care reform plan. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius sought to reinforce this sentiment in a recent interview: "Well that's exactly what the President said and that's what he intends that the bill he signs will do.... I think the legislative language will reflect what the President has just said."
What's going on here? Either President Obama has experienced an epiphany regarding the sanctity of human life at every stage of development, or once again his Administration is attempting to pull the wool over the American people's eyes with a rhetorical bait and switch. A review of the facts may provide insight as to which is the case.
Let's take a look at Barack Obama's record to-date with regard to abortion policy.
As a state senator, Barack Obama twice voted against a bill that would require physicians to provide emergency medical care to infants who survive attempted abortion. His explanation? He feared such a law would serve as a tacit acknowledgement of the "legal standing" of the fetus, thereby threatening the legality of Roe v. Wade. Heaven forbid we acknowledge the humanity of an unwanted child, even one that has managed to make it out of the womb alive against all odds.
During his campaign, he referred to an unplanned pregnancy as a "mistake" and an unwanted child as a "punishment." He vowed that his first act as President would be to pass the Freedom of Choice Act -legislation that would establish abortion at any stage of pregnancy as a federally protected right. Additionally, candidate Obama advocated the overturning of the Hyde Amendment, which has severely restricted Medicaid-funding for abortion since 1976.