July 29th, 2009
08:45 AM ET
7 years ago

FRC spot looks to tie public option to abortion funding

FRC has not yet released the size of its ad buy.

FRC has not yet released the size of its ad buy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Family Research Council is launching a television ad attacking a public health insurance option as a plan that will shortchange seniors and increase access to abortion, as social and religious conservatives ramp up a pushback against President Obama's health care reform package.

The group said it plans to buy air time in five states with moderate Democratic senators, most of whom are considered possible swing votes on health care: Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter and pro-life Bob Casey), Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln), Alaska (Mark Begich), Louisiana (Mary Landrieu), and Nebraska (Ben Nelson).

In the ad, an elderly couple is shown sitting at their kitchen table. "And to think that Planned Parenthood is included in the government-run health care plan and spending tax dollars on abortions," a man says to his wife. "They won't pay for our surgery, but we are forced to pay for our abortions."

The voice-over tag line: "Our greatest generation denied care. Our future generation denied life. Call your senator. Stop the government takeover of health care."

The current bill does not contain any provision for taxpayer-funded abortions. Instead, the current House version of the package would create a panel that would weigh what procedures might be covered - an approach White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said is the best way to take on the issue. Gibbs told reporters earlier this month that when it came to abortion - or other, less controversial coverage questions - it was "better left to experts in the medical field to determine how best and what procedures to cover."

President Obama has largely tried to steer clear of the thorny debate, but has acknowledged the concerns of abortion opponents. "I'm pro-choice, but I think we also have the tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded healthcare," he told CBS News last week. "My main focus is making sure that people have options of high-quality care at the lowest possible price."

The administration's hands-off approach has not been enough for abortion foes, who say that in the absence of language explicitly prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars, the procedure will be included in a government-run health care plan - a development which would have to be squared with the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services. So far, efforts to insert that prohibition into the plan being considered by Congress, including a push last month by a group of House Democrats, have been unsuccessful.

Filed under: Health care • Political ads
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Any public option should not cover abortion. Although I'm pro-choice, I think abortion will kill this bill in it's tracks. However, I think in extreme circumstances when the birth endangers the mother's life, the public option should cover that.

    July 29, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. phoenix86


    Federal funding for abortion.
    Reduction in medical research & development.
    Reduced care for the elderly.

    A killer at the beginning and end of life cycles.

    July 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Liz in Texas

    This is ridiculous. I'm so sick of right-wing threats and scare tactics. Using terrorist tactics, holding Americans hostage unless their demands are met.

    July 29, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Peoples Voice

    I can't wait for Jesus to come back and rid the world of these people. Then we can start to live in peace and harmony.

    July 29, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. jaye

    Aren't you people sick of the lies and innuendo?
    Get an education and wise up to these political ads that are filled with lies and half truths.
    Americans are dumb.

    July 29, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Family Research Council = Rush + OxyCottin

    can any good come from this?

    July 29, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Ernesto

    The Family Research Council should be considered part of our war on terror. Fear is a very useful tool for the far Reich. Slick.

    July 29, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Larry

    This is just more Republican lies. A public option would not shortchange seniors or promote abortion.

    From their track record Republicans cannot call themselves conservative on any level, neither fiscally nor socially.

    July 29, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. beth

    this is pathetic...

    and what's even more pathetic will be the people who see this crap and believe it.

    already, my boss has hung a picture of Obama dressed as a native American 'medicine man' across from my desk (just to irritate me)

    July 29, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Matt

    What kind of Christian principles this Family research Councile teaches about? What kind of Jesus this family councile preach about??What moral ground of a Christian Organization like Family Research Council , while they millions from companies and millionaires .?? Health Care reform is to make it affordable to all that inclueds the one who can not afford it and and for all who dont have it. But Family Research Council here is trying to protect multi-billion Insurance companies and Higher Health coverage, and continue deny the basic rights for thos who dont have it, or for those who cant afford it, the where is Jesus in your teaching? What kind of teachings of Jesus you Preach about? what kind of morality You preach about? what kind of family principle you teach about? Ultimately Healthcare reform is for the families who cant afford

    July 29, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. G

    Abortion legal – OK, government programs to pay for abortion – NOT OK. This is yet another reason that we should not have the government involved in providing health care or health insurance.

    July 29, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Willy Brown

    It’s Nancy’s and Harry’s culture of corruption democratic party.

    July 29, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. annie s

    Here we go again. Fear, intimidation and outright lies. Nothing in the President's plan denies any services to the elderly (Rush's lies to the contrary). Nothing. Although hopefully it will stop Doctors from duplicating tests, ordering unnecessary tests and performing unnecessary procedures. As for abortion, does your current health plan pay for abortions (bet it does) ? Your premium is based on everyone's coverage and usage. Like it or not, abortion is a LEGAL medical procedure. Stop the lies. Stop the fear mongering. Do something helpful for the American people by passing true health reform.

    July 29, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Thomas

    The depth that the religious right wing nut jobs will go seldom surprises me.

    "The current bill does not contain any provision for taxpayer-funded abortions"

    Not that facts influence the religious nutters.

    "an approach White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said is the best way to take on the issue. "

    And who cares what Gibbs thinks? He is a talking dog for the President. Gibbs is told exactly what to say and what not to say. He has no impact on policy. He is not allowed to have an opinion. When Gibbs says it is the best way, he is saying that because the President told him to say that.

    So just say that the President thinks this is the best way.

    July 29, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Aaron

    Nobody should pay any attention to organizations going against the singler payer health care system. Health insureres are so scared of a single payer health program they're throwing money at congress and the senate to vote it down. They don't care about American, they care only about profit. The republicans use abortion to get people to the polls and now the Health Insurance giants are using it too. All they want to do is distract. Single payer is hands down the best way to go. Don't be fooled by the republicans or the for profit insurance companies.

    July 29, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. Jim in San Jose 2

    So, how does the FRC (doesn't that spell farce?) support these claims? Oh, that's right, they don't need facts...

    July 29, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. tjaman

    *deeply tired of every debate of any significance hijacked by single-issue loons*

    Haven't you people already promoted your agenda sufficiently in _Kansas_?

    July 29, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Jim

    Quote from the ad: "Our greatest generation denied care."

    I would like to point out "our greatest generation" already has government run health care.

    I think the Family Research Council should take the sage advice of Sarah Palin: "Stop making things up"

    July 29, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    The proposed bill doesn't say anything about euthanizing seniors either, so absence of language explicitly prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars apparently means the procedures will also be included in a government-run health care plan.

    Now THAT will make a great follow-up TV spot. They can even use the same actors.

    July 29, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. SAI

    Is anyone surprised that the FRC ad contains outright lies and distortions? These "holier than thou" hypocrites make me ill.
    The abortion debate will never be resolved by these tactics.
    But let's face it, the FRC and its like minded creationist, flat earthers will be around as long as the likes of Limbaugh and Beck are considered climate scientists and health care experts.

    July 29, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. rich

    72% of Americans want a public option. So I suggest that for every politician that votes against health reform with a public option that we band together vote these people out of office. We have to demand change to our health system. To many people are suffering because of health industry and it's time to take action. I used to work at an insurance company and we had people dedicated to reviewing medical records looking for pre-existing conditions. This is how insurance companies increase profits. They accept premiums from consumers and then deny claims based on pre-existing conditions or they just will not insure you. A public option eliminates the clause in a health policy where they can deny claims based on pre-existing conditions. This is the most important part of the public option. I encourage people to call a health insurance advocate and have them explain their health policy. Then tell me if you are one illness away from bankruptcy. People need to stop listening to rich people who try to scare you. These people are working for the insurance industry.

    July 29, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Wake-me-when-it's-over

    A mother's womb should be the safest place for an unborn baby to be.
    God created life, and we celebrate that fact... and praise him for the
    wonderful gifts that he gives to us. Let us find ways to greatly reduce the number of abortions, rather than ways to encourage them. Planned parenthood is not doing it's job in educating women, because it is not profitable for them to do so. Education will prevent women from having to go through the trauma of an abortion experience, and the guilt that should accompany ending a pre-born
    infant's life. God bless America, and help us to end this tragedy.

    July 29, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Tom C

    No way shape or form should tax dollars be paying for the killing of an unborn child.

    July 29, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. ppeterson

    think about your mom or dad being told they can't have the care they need. this is really pretty profoundly scary.......

    July 29, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. jim

    this is disgusting. abortions are just a tiny fraction of the needed services planned parenthood offers to all people, not just those with insurance.

    July 29, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
1 2 3