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. Obama worst president EVER

    Because Obama says it won't doesn't mean a thing. Only CNN buys whatever Obama says.

    September 10, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. JBS

    Abortion is a medical procedure that should be covered under all health plans.

    September 10, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. John

    The focus of this Healthcare Reform should not be abortion. Abortion is a completely seperate issue, which is, obviously, highly polarized.

    The truth is that the vast majority of private health insurance plans currently pay for abortions, why should a federal plan be any different.

    September 10, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    It was inartfully said for sure. Doctors can't refuse to perform an abortion in an emergency to save the mother's life if she makes that decision. I can't imagine that we're going to have to listen to GOPers winning on that issue, so yeah, certain abortions will likely be covered. I would assume, however, that most reasonable people listening to the speach understood him to be talking primarily about elective abortions that the religious right would call "frivolous."

    Funny tho CNN. I see both of these factchecks taking very VERY obtuse paths to reasoning a rating of "false." Upset that Obama might've scored points last night and be on his way to upsetting your precious establishment?

    September 10, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. norb

    What I don't get is those people who appose abortion, many of them also appose the health care initiative. I guess they don't want to kill and abort fetus', but they have no problem watching a young child or adult die because they don't have insurance? They don't mind paying billions for bombs that kill people for no reason. The America I grew up with is sadly no longer the caring one I grew up with. So sad.

    September 10, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. U.S. Common Sense

    One of the problems with tackling such a monstrosity as health care reform in a single bill, and then trying to discuss legislation regarding it, is that verbal slips like the one above occurs. (Some) Abortions will be paid for with taxpayer funds, just as Illegal Aliens WILL receive medical coverage under Obama's plan because hospitals cannot turn those in need away (which is what prompted Rep. Wilson to should "You lie" during the speech). What Obama meant to say is that Illegal Aliens will not be allowed to buy/obtain medical insurance coverage. Many of these misunderstandings would be easily avoided if Congress would break up the bill into smaller packages.

    September 10, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. ex-republican

    The Verdict
    This gentlemen is not Obama, this is President Obama.
    What's up, CNN

    September 10, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. sharonann tomal

    This is why unfortunately even after watching the President's speech, I continue to vote against the Public Option. Not five minutes after the President spoke about the abortion issue, I tune in to Fox, Cnn and (just for a minute or two)msnbc and what do I find–various democratic congressmen/women and senators stating that Obama will take care of the abortion issue once we get the public option passed. The congressman from New York (Weiner) I believe is his name, emphatically said that "we pro-choicers" will definitely have the abortion option in as well as coverage for illegals. So much for democratic truth telling. Come 2010 I will vote for more balance in Congress and will vote a republican in.

    September 10, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Carlos

    He lied again.

    September 10, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Ron -- Seattle

    Well, they were asking for it anyway.

    Signed,
    typical repub

    September 10, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Abortion is a side issue in healthcare!

    September 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Dean

    There are a lot of details about the plan that Obama does not mention.
    People shold actually read the plan and find out his agenda.
    Try being informed instead of opinionated.

    September 10, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. david weaver

    Just another out and out lie.This man is full of them.Srictly another socialistic move.Hitler did alot of this

    September 10, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. duffey

    I think the author of this article is splitting hairs. The educated elite of the USA understand that the Hyde Amendment will not be affected by his reform porposals. Unfortunatly as with this author most of the American population don't fall under either catagory "elite" or "educated".

    September 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Smoke and mirrors.

    The funds for any plan the government is involved in will be a combination of premium dollars and federal funds. There is no way to delineate which funds are which.

    Nice try.

    September 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Dave

    Is the mere claim of incest or rape sufficient to get a government funded abortion? I can only conclude that in the case of rape, the courts, generally, will not have arrived at a verdict in time to make a legal determination. So, what is the criteria?

    September 10, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Really???

    I don't condone or promote abortions, but they are legal at present in the US. Those who are against them feel that their views should be observed anyway. Well, guns are legal in the US, although many feel they should not be. Would those who are against abortion be OK with no federal funds being spent on any medical expenses due to gunshot wounds? Or maybe only on those incurred as a result of a crime, such as with abortion? I'm guessing that most of those against abortion would say it is different, but is it? If they don't want something legal funded due to their beliefs, shouldn't they be all for this idea?

    September 10, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. St Louie

    I think that both healthcare statements put out by the Truth Squad are rather misleading, ie-abortion & illegal aliens. This appears to me to be a prime characterization of the way politics normally go. Most educated people know that the healthcare bill will follow the Hyde Amendment and it should. The proposal does not however state there's carte blanche in "federally funding abortion." This is how this stuff gets blown out of proportion. Now people are going to say, well the Truth Squad said .....because Obama didn't mention in his remarks Wed that there IS federal funding for some abortion proc under the current Hyde Amendment. That's misleading. This is how the ridiculousness gets started! Thanks Truth Squad for stirring it up again.

    September 10, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. wsa

    Verdict, shmerdict. If the man said that there would not be any federal funding for any (abortion) procedure not allowed by current federal law (the Hyde Amendment) ... and you idiotically say it is false because there ARE instances (rape, incest, to protect the life) under that amendment ... where is the falsehood.

    Is there too much mercury in the water ... or are you just continuing to play these reprehensible games that are making reasonable people feel like they are living on an alien planet??????

    September 10, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. susan reynolds

    And these are the same people who shout that the government has no business in health care. They don't want the government intruding on them by way of telling them what coverage they will have or what procedures they can have........but the government BETTER tell the women folks what they can or can't have!!

    September 10, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Oh, come on!!

    I doubt whether these federal exemptions count for .00001% of abortions performed in the U.S. Therefore what Obama said is 99.9999% true, and CNN is wrong.

    September 10, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Keith in Austin

    Just one of a litany of things that NObama failed to offer any specifics! Bottom Line: When THE PEOPLE peel back the layers of his stinking onion and realize the slick charade that Liberals are trying to institute into law at warped speed, the revolution will be even stronger! Just wait and see Folks!

    September 10, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Unless the Hyde Amendment is restated in a new Bill, some lawyer will find a loophole the democrats put in there, as with the illegal immigrants whose lawyers will find loopholes as they have in FHA loans, college tuition, small business loans and the social/welfare system. The lawyers and politicians in America are about as trustworthy Chevez and Castro. Look at all the lawyers, politicians, and Ivy League MBA's that messed up our economy on Walstreet.

    September 10, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. jay

    Hey Obama- YOU LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Susan in Arkansas

    Oh, for heaven's sake, CNN, does every single word spoken by the President require this type of biased scrutiny? President Obama spoke the truth with respect to the current drafted health care reform legislation regarding abortion. The Hyde Admendment is current law. Your verdict of "false," will only continue to flame the fires of dissent by those whose only pursuit in life is to gritch about the ridiculous.

    September 10, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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