Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ohio Congressman tries to stop prolife orgs from revealing his pro-abortion vote

Ohio Congressman Steve Driehaus is suing the prolife organization Susan B. Anthony List for what he claims are untrue ads regarding his vote on health care reform. The Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List has paid for billboard in Ohio which say Driehaus "voted for the taxpayer-funded abortion" when he voted in favor of health care reform. Driehaus had a prolife voting record until he voted in favor the health care reform legislation which didn't exclude the federal funding of abortion.

At the request of the SBA List, National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Douglas Johnson has written an affidavit responding to Driehaus' complaint.
At the request of the SBA List, NRLC submitted a 23-page affidavit, prepared and sworn to by veteran Federal Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, consisting of 65 numbered paragraphs, refuting Driehaus's claims. Paragraph 15 explains that the law that Driehaus voted for "contained multiple provisions that do in fact authorize (i.e., create legal authority for) taxpayer funding of abortion, and that predictably will result in such funding in the future -- unless the law itself is repealed, or unless the law is revised by a future Congress to include statutory language along the lines of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment." Paragraph 32 explains, "Some of these provisions are entirely untouched by any limitation on abortion in existing law or in the PCACA itself, and others are subject only to limitations that are temporary or contingent."

The affidavit provides detailed discussion of four specific programs under which abortion coverage is authorized by the PPACA -- the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP), the program of federal tax-based subsidies to purchase private health plans, the appropriation of $7 billion in new funding for Community Health Centers, and the section creating "multi-state" health plans to be administered by the federal Office of Personnel Management. The affidavit notes that these examples are not exhaustive.

In paragraphs 56-62, Johnson dismisses Driehaus's reliance on Executive Order 13535 as "highly misleading," noting, "There are no directives in the Order that apply to all, or even to most, of the provisions of the PPACA. The operative provisions that are actually contained in the Order are extremely narrow and highly qualified. . . Executive Order 13535 has the hallmarks of a primarily political document." Johnson also notes that the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America characterized the Executive Order as "a symbolic gesture."