Obama says not funding abortions is “tradition”

While Jos alerted us a couple of weeks ago to the anti-choice Democrats who are trying to keep abortion funding out of the health care reform plan, a recent interview with our president makes us wonder if he’s caving into their efforts.
In an interview with Katie Couric this week, he finally addressed abortion funding in health care reform, but it wasn’t too pleasing; he asserted he wasn’t looking to “micro-manage” which benefits are covered and that not funding abortion has generally been “the tradition”:

Katie Couric: Do you favor a government option that would cover abortions?
President Obama: What I think is important, at this stage, is not trying to micromanage what benefits are covered. Because I think we’re still trying to get a framework. And my main focus is making sure that people have the options of high quality care at the lowest possible price.
As you know, I’m pro choice. But I think we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care. Rather than wade into that issue at this point, I think that it’s appropriate for us to figure out how to just deliver on the cost savings, and not get distracted by the abortion debate at this station. (Emphasis mine)

Well, that doesn’t sound very pro-choice. Dana at TAPPED makes the connection to the Hyde Amendment:

That is a reference to the Hyde Amendment, which currently prevents Medicaid coverage of abortions for poor women. And while none of the health reform bills in Congress threaten Hyde, reproductive health advocates have been trying for decades to repeal the ban. By deferring to this “tradition,” Obama seems to be signaling that he could support a public plan that excludes abortion coverage.

This is despite the fact that during his campaign, he stated that he opposed the amendment. Dana Goldstein has more. Read more about the Hyde Amendment here. And take action here.

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