Religious groups smack the Family Research Council over abortion

Religious groups are accusing the Family Research Council (FRC) of being “misleading” in its attacks on health care reform.  That’s nice-guy speak for saying the FRC is lying through its teeth.

A TV ad that the FRC has created shows a husband and wife chatting somberly (a la the “Harry and Louise” ads of 1994) about how a proposed health care plan would deny needed treatments to elderly people while providing funding for abortions instead.  The voice-over line at the end: “Our greatest generation denied care; our future generation denied life.”  FRC also has a website up called “Stop the Abortion Mandate.”

The religious groups that have come out swinging over this ad are the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the pro-life Catholics United.  They demand that FRC stop making claims that appear to lack a strong factual basis, since no “mandate” exists to cover abortions in the various forms of the legislation now on the table.

The grain of truth in FRC’s claims seems to be that a version of the House health care plan (which was finalized long after the FRC campaign emerged) includes language that says some abortions could be funded.  But that’s only when the mother’s life was in danger or in the case of rape or incest — i.e., in exactly the same circumstances in which public funding can happen now.  So there would be no change in government policy.  Moreover, there seems to be no basis for FRC’s claim in a recent webcast that health reform would lead Catholic hospitals to close and right-to-lifers to being denied entry to the medical field.

We report; you decide.

Jesse Lava also blogs at

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