COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS
Oct. 15, 2009, 10:30 am, Room 430, Dirksen Senate Office Building
The Beverly LaHaye Institute — Concerned Women for America
While the cost is a major concern, health care reform must respect all life, at the beginning and end of life.
We have two primary concerns about health care reform relating to abortion — whether it funds and covers abortion and whether it allows health care workers freedom of conscience.
Funding and Covering Abortion: Without explicit wording prohibiting abortion funding and coverage, health care reform will involve all American taxpayers in explicit financial support for abortion-on-demand. In addition, Planned Parenthood is a “community provider” under health care reform bills.
Freedom of Conscience for Health Care Workers: Any health care reform provisions must provide protection for the rights of conscience for health care workers and medical providers. Those whose faith or conscience prevent them from performing abortions must have the ability to object and refrain from participating in actions that are contrary to their beliefs.
Life Sustaining Treatment: Pro-lifers are, rightly, concerned about the possibility of limitations on life-sustaining treatment of the elderly, permanently disabled, terminally ill, or those with long-term chronic illnesses. No one should suggest the least expensive treatment or no treatment for those who are at or near the end of life or those whose conditions are irreversible.
Care at the End-of-Life: One of the most troubling aspects of health care reform legislation concerns end-of-life issues. Any health care reform must provide effective treatment for the nation’s older people — without curtailment, withdrawal or denial of life-sustaining care for the terminally ill, the chronically ill, or the permanently disabled. Further, those provisions that address end-of-life issues must clearly leave no room for an interpretation that would pressure healthcare providers to make decisions based on cost rather than the best medical care.
Concerned Women for America believes that for any health care legislation to pass Congress it must protect life from conception to death. Therefore, we recommend:
First and foremost, abortion must be explicitly prohibited both in funding and coverage, with the Hyde Amendment permanently codified in law. Second, the right to free exercise of their conscience must be granted to all health care workers without penalty or intimidation. Third, life-sustaining treatment must be available to all citizens, including the elderly, terminally or chronically ill or those who are permanently disabled. Fourth, we categorically reject end-of-life counseling based on cost considerations and government formulas generated by Comparative Effectiveness Research. And, we reject all assisted suicide measures.
Click here to read the full testimony presented by Dr. Crouse to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.