Does the Senate bill fund abortion?

At Politics Daily, our own David Gibson has a helpful article on abortion and health-care reform. Gibson goes into details that most stories on the subject skip or just summarize, and he talks to a few people who actually seem to know what they're talking about. His conclusion: the Senate bill is not proabortion, no matter what some prolife organizations have been saying. One of Gibson's most important points has to do with the money the Senate bill authorizes for community health centers:

Perhaps the most eye-catching claim by anti-abortion forces is that upwards of $7 billion designated in the Senate bill ($11 billion in the president's amended version) would be funneled directly to Community Health Centers (CHCs) which, as [Dr. Charmaine] Yoest wrote, "include Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions." []This meme has become the unchallenged talking point for pro-life opponents of the health care reform bill. But it is mistaken on several points.

Most obviously, none of the 1,250 Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs, that would receive the billions in money through the reform bill offer abortion services. []As the National Association of Community Health Centers said in a statement this week, none of the health centers receiving money under the Senate bill "provide abortions to any of their patients, and we are not aware of any that have ever done so." In addition, the statement said that "Health centers do not plan to, nor are they seeking to, become providers of abortion. On the contrary, last year health centers provided prenatal, perinatal, and post-natal/post-partum care to 1 of every 8 children born in the U.S."

Do read the rest of the article (especially if you plan to criticize the part I've quoted).

Matthew Boudway is senior editor of Commonweal.

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