One of America’s foremost advocates of anywhere-any time-any reason abortion, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, is in high dudgeon over a Family Research Council project called StopTheAbortionMandate.com. The FRC is trying to drum up public opposition to funding abortion through proposed health care reform. The FRC claims:

  • The current health care reform proposals, if enacted, would result in the biggest expansion of abortion since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision imposed abortion on America in 1973…
  • Washington D.C. bureaucrats and abortion industry lobbyists are trying to force YOU to pay for abortions through your tax dollars as part of their proposed trillion-dollar health care takeover — even though recent polls show that 71% of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortion…
  • This political power-grab is an effort to implement one of the cornerstones of the “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA), and could lead to a massive taxpayer-subsidized abortion industry bailout – something that American families do not support and cannot afford in these tough economic times…
  • Under the proposed health care takeover, virtually every American would be forced into a health plan that mandates abortion coverage; if the healthcare reform law does not clearly state that abortion is excluded, abortion automatically becomes a minimum required benefit…

There are multiple proposals out there for health care reform, and this presentation would be more accurate and honest if it specified what proposals it is against. However, there’s no question that lots of the proponents of health care reform–including the RCRC–want all of this in the package, and some are indicating a willingness to play hardball if they don’t get what they want. The RCRC, however, doesn’t want to let the cat out of the bag, and calls on the FRC to sit down and shut up:

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice calls on the Family Research Council and other leaders of the pro-life movement to shut down the inflammatory “stoptheabortionmandate” website and end their massive misinformation campaign alleging that health care reform would cover abortion. The prominent politicians and activists who have put their names and reputations behind this campaign are misleading their constituents.

The Family Research Council and its allies in this campaign have consistently and repeatedly twisted the truth to promote their agenda and bring down health care reform. Because abortion is a critical component of women’s reproductive health care, it should be included in a health care package. But the fact is that there is no “mandate.” The current House version of the health care bill would create a panel that would weigh what procedures might be covered – an approach that the Obama administration has said is the best way to determine what procedures to cover.

Right. And the FRC and National Right to Life would no doubt have extensive input into the composition of such a panel. Please. One doesn’t have to live inside the Beltway to know that such a panel is nothing more than a way to give the president and Congress political cover to do what they want, which is to use public funds for abortion and require private insurers to cover it. (“Gee, we had no idea that the panel would approve using tax dollars for abortion. It’s an outrage, but what can you do?”) To pretend otherwise is so transparently dishonest that only a congenitally dishonest organization such as RCRC could put this line out with a straight face.

Honest people can and do have profound disagreements about when and whether abortion should be permissible. But this issue should not be used to manipulate public opinion on health care reform. Leaders of public opinion have a responsibility to engage in honest discourse and to respect diverse views. In this case, that can best be achieved by shutting down this website and pulling the Family Research Council television ads set to run in five states and any other public media that distorts the facts.

Yep, RCRC supports the airing of “diverse views” and “profound disagreements.” Just not in ublic where it might actually have an impact on the debate going on in Congress, or on public opinion.