Catholics United  today strongly condemned a new television attack ad campaign by the Family Research Council's FRC Action lobbying operation that misinforms the U.S. public about health care reform. The Family Research Council's efforts are part of a broader “Stop the Abortion Mandate” campaign that is using abortion scare tactics to turn pro-life voters against health reform.
In FRC Action's ad, entitled “After a Government Takeover,” actors playing a husband and wife claim that current health care proposals would deny funding for essential treatments while providing public funding for abortions. Currently, no health care bill contains any reference to abortion, let alone a mandate for public funding of abortion. In a rebuttal to the attack ad, CNN.com notes that “the current bill does not contain any provision for taxpayer-funded abortions.”
In fact, President Obama told CBS's Katie Couric on July 21 that the government should not try “to micromanage what benefits are covered,” and should continue to uphold a tradition of “not financing abortions as part of government funded health care.”
“Either the Family Research Council is seriously misinformed, or it is intentionally distorting the truth in order to derail health care reform,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “If the Family Research Council was truly committed to human life it would focus its efforts on ensuring that the tens of millions of Americans who currently lack heath insurance can get the care they need. This attack ad is unhelpful, untruthful, and not at all pro-life.”
Catholics United is currently mobilizing its membership to email the Family Research Council's offices and urge the organization to suspend its misinformation campaign. In addition, it plans a series of actions throughout the August Congressional recess to set the record straight about the current health care reform proposal and the truth behind the Family Research Council's activities.
“The actions of the Family Research Council and the 'Stop the Abortion Mandate' campaign pose perhaps the single greatest threat to the passage of health care reform,” said Korzen. “We urge them to do the right thing and suspend these efforts immediately.”