New Wrinkle: RNC Insurance Plan Covers Abortion

Nov 12, 2009 6:52pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: There is a new wrinkle in the abortion debate: the Republican National Committee confirms that its insurance plan covers elective abortion – a procedure condemned in the party’s platform as an assault on innocent human life. The RNC’s policy, which was first reported Thursday evening by Politico, was put in place in 1991. The RNC tells ABC News that the party is planning to review the abortion coverage contained in its Cigna policy but has not yet decided what to do about it. The RNC’s abortion coverage is in the news because 176 House Republicans joined 64 Democrats on Saturday night in voting for an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., which prohibits federal funds from being used to buy health insurance plans that cover elective abortion.  RNC Chairman Michael Steele heralded passage of the Stupak amendment over the weekend while simultaneously telling voters not to get too excited about it because he was confident that liberal Democrats would strip the tight restrictions from any health-care bill which ultimately reaches President Obama’s desk. In a Monday interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper, President Obama suggested that he was not comfortable with the tight abortion restrictions inserted into the House version of health-care legislation, saying that “there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo” on abortion. He simultaneously suggested that he wants to preserve the existing policy of not using federal funds to pay for abortions directly. Cigna offers its customers the opportunity to opt out of abortion coverage but the RNC chose not to opt out. UPDATE: Ken McKay, the chief of staff of the Republican National Committee, prepared a memo Thursday evening to all 168 members of the RNC informing them that party chairman Michael Steele has called for an immediate review of the elective abortion coverage contained in the RNC's health insurance policy by the RNC's 27-member executive committee. "I can assure you that the Chairman takes this issue very seriously," writes McKay. Read the full story HERE. 

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