September 10th, 2009
01:59 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Truth Squad: Does health reform prohibit federal funding of abortion?


The Statement:

President Obama said in a September 9 address to a joint session of Congress
that "Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions."



The Facts:

At present, federal law allows funding for abortions in cases of rape, incest
and protecting the life of the mothers. And, that won't change under health
reform.

President Obama has made clear before that "nobody is talking about changing"
the Hyde Amendment, which allows funding for abortions in those specific
instances. A health care amendment passed by the House Energy and Commerce
Committee in July specified that federal funding of these three procedures
would be permitted in the proposed health insurance exchange.

"Under my amendment, no federal funds may be used to pay for abortions that are
not allowed by the Hyde Amendment, which, as you know, prohibits federal
funding for abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the
life of the woman," says U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-California.

The Verdict:
False. Obama didn't mention in his remarks Wednesday night that there is
federal funding for some abortion procedures under the current Hyde Amendment.


Filed under: Health care fact check
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. John from Massapeuqa NY

    "A lie."

    September 10, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Video Guy

    I understood this speech as a list of what the President whats in a bill, not a item by item list of a bill that he is ready to sign now.

    September 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Pat F

    You mean Wilson was right – the President was lying to Congress?

    Boy, lots of Democrats owe Wilson an apology.

    September 10, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Just sayin'

    In the end, I couldn't care less if there is funding for abortion. I don't care if there is a public option (although I think maybe there should be a public option, with some funding for abortion) .... in the end, the reason why I do not support any of the plans for health care reform is because of the mandates and fines that will go into effect. Not everyone wants or needs health insurance and it should always be the individual's choice how they choose to handle their finances. But not anymore. The government wants to make that choice for you. You buy insurance or you pay a big fine. That's just wrong. I'd be all for health care reform if they did away with the penalties, mandates and fines and rather then focusing on people who don't want insurance, focused on those who want it but can't get it.

    September 10, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Deuce

    That is happening already. Your future Medical system is being aborted.

    September 10, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Chip

    All of this bickering back and forth is moot. The president continually mentioned "my plan" in his speech, but where is it. He just spoke in platitudes. Many of the things he spoke of run counter to HR3200 which is sort of the plan of record here. There are a couple of other "plans" out there that have wide variances. Until something concrete is provided and considered for a vote, everyone making comments is spinning their wheels.

    Congress needs to pass a plan out of committee, get it ready for the floor vote, then put it on hold for 2-4 weeks and give "We the People" time to review and digest it and make inquiries and protestations. When a plan that the majority of the country can live with is developed, then it can become law if the House then has the votes to do so. This would hush most of the unfounded opposition and blind support to a plan and let you know where your lawmakers stand with regard to loyalty to their constituents.

    September 10, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. jules sand-perkins

    I prefer that my taxes pay for an abortion by a woman unprepared to support a child, rather than pay to support the child on welfare and also support the mother as a reward for becoming pregnant.

    September 10, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. kevin

    i thought obama's speech was awful. very partisan and wow, he should have had better writers or something. Its hard to belive this man is the president

    September 10, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Typical Republican

    "rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman"...These are all valid reasons for a woman to be pregnant. We republicans fully believe that women should be impregnated this way and that they should be FORCED to have the baby! Because pregnancies conceived in these ways are GOOD!

    Do NOT let the government allow us not to impregnate women in these ways, it's the way us republicans have babies, otherwise we would have to get permission from women to breed, and no woman ever breeds with us on their own free will!

    September 10, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Terry from Texas

    As a good Liberal, I don't think that the federal government should decide whether a woman should have an abortion. She says she was raped. The man she accuses says they had consensual sex. He says, "Don't kill my baby." How many months go by while this is being settled. Or, a woman is raped, but her parents say, "She's such a liar. She says stuff like this all the time. Don't kill our grandbaby."

    If Conservatives get to pick what a doctor and patient can decide in certain situations, then I want to exclude my list of medical procedures from federal funding. I don't think physicians should be allowed to treat fat people. If someone is more than 10% overweight, I don't think my tax dollars should go to enable a bunch of blubbertubs to gobble up federal funds with all those baloney sandwiches. The same should go for smokers. Why should I – a nonsmoker – pay to keep a smoker alive, when all he is going to do is keep smoking and keep burning up my tax money. Same for drinkers. They are out of control. Why should I pay for drunk drivers to speed down the freeway at 2AM?

    September 10, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Janel

    Come on get serious...is this all you can come up with...I am sure if he had ten yrs to give a speach and outline every exception he would, but for you to nit-pick like this...I am sure we all know what he meant by no federal funds would be used to fund abortion...stop tripping!

    September 10, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Phil

    Obama's plan does not add funding for abortions. So opponents of abortion should not be concerned by his plan. The fact that the Hyde Amendment provides funding under a different plan is irrelevant. The abortion funding is not under Obama's plan.

    September 10, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Wow CNN...yes, President Obama's speech should have clearly stated no federal funding for ILLEGAL abortions. And it is completely logical that the Hyde Amendment allows funding for abortions in cases of rape, incest
    and protecting the life of the mothers. Anyone who disagrees with this needs psychiatric evaluation.

    September 10, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Lynne

    CNN breaks every rule of journalism when it tries to "even" things up when in fact they aren't. The same thing occured with the constant showing of townhall meetings when scenes were shown when they were "deemed" interesting...is some illinformed, brainwashed wingnut was shouting or carrying an offensive, inaccurate sign.

    These people were far outnumbered throughout the country by respectful citizens who went to the meetings to have a civil debate no matter what side they were leaning toward.

    Just like the pretense that the comments on President Obama's speech and Wilson's childish, boorish behaviour are equal on your blogs when anyone with a Grade Five reading level can see the positives for the president and the negatives for Wilson are at least 8 to 1.

    September 10, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. kevin

    and reason why Mr wilson is being hounded now about calling the pres a liar. When people go after others so hard and so vicious, 9 times out if 10, its most likely cause its the truth. this bill will cover those in america who are not legal. this is a bad bad bill

    September 10, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Lilarose

    It's time to tell all those MEN who are in government and having affairs while married to keep their dang hands off the abortion issue, PERIOD!

    I will bet you a great number of them have shoved a daughter, girlfriend, or even wife to an abortionist.

    September 10, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Emma

    That is splitting hairs CNN! The Hyde Amendment is not an Obama thing. It surely does not come under the Obama plan and most of all, is subject to change by the Congress. It is up to the GOP to try to change it.
    Let them do some meaningful work for a change.

    September 10, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Sammy

    AFTER reading the President's speech, I could NOT find a single thing that is wrong with what is being attempted...

    This could make GOP too crappy IF they JUST keep shouting like a party of Joes and Boehners with a NO but do not ensure that nothing wrong gets in here ..... I am losing most of my faith now in this party and leadership – by all means, if nothing improves and they still come up with leaders like Palin, it would be extinct in another 4 years (sorry)!!

    September 10, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. JA/TN

    why should it prohibit funding, federal funds buy guns and bombs

    September 10, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. John Gillett

    So Obama lied.

    September 10, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Yolanda Munoz

    I don't believe that President Obama was lying about the abortion issue, I believe he simply meant that abortion will not be funded just because you want one....only those covered by the Hyde Amendment will be allowed. Perhaps he should have stated that much, but that doesn't make it an intentional lie!

    September 10, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Chandler

    CNN, you mislead. The funding doesn't go to abortions, it goes to subsidies for insurance, or a public option which is a form of insurance with co-pays and deductibles. The money that is put in by the government, by law, can't go towards abortions. It would be the co-pays and deductibles that would possibly pay for the coverage of such a procedure if it was performed.

    September 10, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Hugo

    Of course it wont directly pay for abortions, it will fund what will be called family planning crisis management or some other deception. Just like illegals wont get free healthcare, their anchor babies will and then the illegals will be dependents on their anchor child's Public Option policy. Deception, smoke and mirrors, fraud and more fraud, spend and more spend, that sums up this Liberal Democratic Administration.

    Deportation of illegals, Enforcement of our laws, tort law reform, fair insurance practice regulation and most of all to save our Nation, elect a Conservative Independent Centrist for our next President!

    September 10, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Slider

    Maybe CNN's "Truth Squad" (LULZ) could investigate the shenanigans of its little poll run last night showing the huge discrepency between Democrat and Republican voters?

    I swear, CNN is Pravda...

    September 10, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    "No FEDERAL money will be used for abortion."...that leaves a lot of openings in that thought. Will state money be used? Will there be federal doctors doing the procedure for free? Will they change the name to birth termination? Who pays for the abortions now? Will it be donated money raised thru various events?

    The truth is......if our government allows abortion, someone will pay for it. The health care bill doesn't hinge on whether abortion is included or not. Abortion is wrong, immoral, and should be illegal. Now the president says there will be no death panels to decide if the elderly should get needed medical treatment or if it costs too much for someone that old. That is just as bad as aborition. If they allow abortion, the death panels will surely be okayed. Do I fight for my country, or leave it to those who want to change it. You'll probably see me marching in the streets, with the acceptance that marching may be the only way to stop these people who ignore the constituion and change our country from capitalism to socialims.

    September 10, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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