Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; Family Research Council President Tony Perkins; Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.; and Joe Pitts, R-Pa., are among the Christian leaders who will appear on Stop the Abortion Mandate, which begins at 9 p.m. EST.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, who is also a speaker tonight, said pressure is mounting against Congress to change the language of the bill, which will not be voted on before August despite the president’s calls to pass the legislation before the summer recess.
“Without language to explicitly exclude an abortion mandate, the legislation will result in Americans footing the bill for abortion-on-demand in the largest expansion of government-backed abortion since Roe v. Wade,” Dannenfelser said. “Pro-life Americans everywhere need to make their voice heard to stop this abortion mandate and press for health care that honors both mother and child.”
Politically moderate Christians such as Florida pastor Joel Hunter believe the health care bill, if passed, will not allow government-funded abortions. “If there is a doubt in the pro-life community about public funding of abortion, that will sink the healthcare bill,” Hunter said, according to U.S. News & World Report.
More conservative pro-life activists have been aggressively mobilizing to combat any inclusion of abortion in the healthcare bill. This week, American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow launched a national petition campaign urging lawmakers to exclude abortion from the health reform bill.
“Congress must act to explicitly exclude abortion from any government-mandated coverage or taxpayer funded health plan,” Sekulow said. “This open door must be closed.”
Christian observers say the health care reform bill has problems beyond its ambiguity on abortion. “Abortion is the most dramatic one,” said Charles Dunn, dean of the Regent University’s Robertson School of Government. He said other potential dangers include greater limitations on physician choice, as well as fewer private healthcare options.
“We slowly see the government reduce our ability to use our money as we would choose,” Dunn said. “Socialism moves toward the goal of equality. Capitalism moves toward the goal of liberty. For democracy to function … you have to have a healthy tension between liberty and equality.”