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PolitiFact.com | St. Petersburg Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

PolitiFact: Senate bill won't fund abortions by community health centers

That's not the intent of the funding

The statement

The Senate version of the health care reform bill "allows taxpayer money to pay directly for abortion in federal community health centers funded in the bill."

U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., in a Jan. 22 press release

The ruling

Never in their 45 years have community health centers provided abortions. They did not even before the Hyde Amendment was enacted. They have not even when they got $500,000 from the economic stimulus to expand their services. They have not even though federal funding limited by the Hyde Amendment makes up just 20 percent of their annual budget now. Given all that and public pronouncements from the White House, the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the National Association of Community Health Centers that the money could not be used to provide abortions, we think it's highly misleading to state definitively that if the Senate bill passes, then federal dollars will start flowing to community health centers to provide abortions. We rule Lipinski's statement Barely True.

Only those who choose those plans

The statement

In the Senate version of the health reform bill, "Every enrollee in the Office of Personnel Management enrolled plan, every enrollee has to pay a minimum of $1 per month towards reproductive rights, which includes abortion."

U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., March 4 on Good Morning America

The ruling

Stupak is correct that people who select a plan that covers abortions would have at least $1 a month of their premiums set aside for a fund that would pay for abortions performed for people in that plan. And everyone in that plan, even men, would have to pay into that account. But Stupak misspoke when he said "every enrollee" would have to pay into an account that would pay for abortions. In fact, the issue doesn't apply at all to people who choose a plan that does not cover abortion. And every state must offer a plan that does not offer abortion. Furthermore, people would have to be told up front if the plan they are considering covers abortions. So when Stupak says that "every" person would need to set aside this abortion money, it's not only wrong, we think it stokes misplaced outrage on an already highly charged issue. We rule Stupak's statement False. Robert Farley, Times staff writer

PolitiFact: Senate bill won't fund abortions by community health centers 03/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:25pm]
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