For those of you who haven’t already heard, let me repeat that: the Republican National Committee (RNC) has a health insurance plan for their employees that covers abortion. Now, this shouldn’t even be surprising, despite my out-loud laugh half in amazement, half fury when I found out arriving home last night. Because as Amie and Cecile Richards say – of course their plan covers abortion! It’s a standard health benefit plan any employer would want to offer their employees, yes?
But as Politico points out, for a committee whose platform that says abortion is “a fundamental assault on innocent human life,” and its members just voted for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment attacking the very existence of abortion coverage in health insurance plans (along with enough anti-choice and cowardly Dems) in the recently House passed health care bill, this is pretty incredible to hear.
Of course, the RNC is scrambling to cover for this apparent mistake, saying the policy had been in effect since 1991 (so were you pro-choice then?) and is assuring folks that their insurance plan is going to immediately be changed. Says a late release from the RNC late last night:
News reports have revealed that the RNC’s health plan dating back as far as 1991 may have included some coverage for elective abortion. Upon learning of this, Chairman Michael Steele instructed the RNC Director of Administration to opt the RNC out of any coverage for elective abortion services in its health insurance policy.
“Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose. I don’t know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled.” – RNC Chairman Michael Steele
It’s not so much that the RNC are hypocrites that gets me – we’ve known that too well and for too long - but that their female employees are now having the right to reproductive health care stripped from their plan. It’s like they’re the first to be sacrificed in the midst of this assault.