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VIDEO: Megyn Kelly debates Rep. Weiner about abortion funding in health care

Rep. Weiner (D-NY) today in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asserted:

“We have the Hyde Amendment that has been in place for a generation. I’m not crazy about it, but it says there should be no federal funding for abortion. That’s the law as we sit here, that will be the law after health care passes.”

Rep. Weiner is only right in pointing out that the Hyde Amendment – the prohibition on federal funding of abortion – has been the law and policy of the federal government. If the Senate bill becomes law, however, the principles of Hyde will no longer be the law.

First, the myth that the Hyde Amendment would apply to the self-appropriating health care reform bills has been debunked over and over again.

Second, Americans United for Life has written a detailed analysis of the comparison between the Hyde Amendment, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the House bill, and the Senate bill’s abortion provision. AUL has also provided a chart that explains the abortion funding contained in the Senate bill. These analyses show Rep. Weiner was wrong to claim, “What’s in the [Senate] bill is the preservation of the Hyde Amendment.”

Third, while Rep. Weiner admitted it would be “open season” for direct taxpayer funding of abortions if the Hyde Amendment is repealed, he made the outrageous claim that “The repeal of the Hyde Amendment is contemplated nowhere.” Pro-abortion organizations are bent on eliminating the Hyde Amendment, and many of the politicians they support are equally committed to the goal. It is not cynical to see the carefully written abortion language in the Senate bill as the first step in a plan to eliminate any restrictions on federal funding for abortion.


Megyn: Welcome back, folks. There is big news on health care and abortion today, and it’s coming from congressman Bart Stupak, he’s a prolife democrat from Michigan. He gave a radio interview this morning in which he raised new charges that the health care overhaul will end up providing taxpayer dollars for abortion.

Stupak: He came back a while later, said but we want to pay for abortions. I said Mr. Chairman, that’s where we disagree, We don’t do it now, We’re not going to start. i think we should. I’m sorry, but the house has spoken. we had that debate. we won. 240-190. you forced a vote, we won, fair and square, and we’re not going to — this is what it is, if you want to move health care, keep current law.

Megyn: Congressman from New York Anthony Weiner joins me live. Congressman Weiner, that is Bart Stupak, accusing Henry Waxman, who came up with the health care bill in the house of saying explicitly we want taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, we think that we should make that the law.

Weiner: Well, it almost doesn’t matter. Look, we have the Hyde Amendment that is been in place for a generation. I’m not crazy about it but it says there should be no federal funding for abortion. that’s the law as we sit here, that will be the law after health care passes. You know, we’re all having to make some compromises here. I started out and I’ve spoken to you about this, I believe we should have an expansion of medicare to cover all Americans, I’ve compromised school public option and a weaker public option. there are compromises people have to make. Bart Stupak isn’t actually having to make one. If you don’t want your tax dollars go to pay for abortions you’re not going to have them after this bill, you’re not going to have them today, you’re not going to have them in the last 25 years.

Megyn: That’s not what he says. He says that under the Senate plan, which you guys are now looking to pass, and I’ve looked at this myself, that anybody who buys insurance through the exchange would have — they’d have to buy $1 of their premium would go towards funding abortion. And that it gets put in a special pot but that $1 does indeed go towards funding abortion. You can opt out of the plan that funds abortions if you want, there has to be at least one that doesn’t fund abortions but his point is what average American is going to go through each of the plans and say funds abortions, they’re going to sign up for plans and their tax dollars are going to go to fund abortions. How do you respond?

Weiner: All throughout the health care infrastructure, the $2.7 trillion we pay for health care, there are times when consumers are told we can’t pay for this with taxpayer dollars, you have to pay for it on your own. That happens all the time. It happens with abortion, unfortunately. I don’t think it should, I don’t think poor women should be denied that, but it should. It’s going to happen after this law, too.

Megyn: No. Respond to my point. The senate bill, I looked at it myself, the senate bill says that $1 per premium, or in the premiums, will go per person into a fund, and that that fund will be used to pay for abortion.

Weiner: That is not right.

Megyn: For the reproductive rights to include abortion.

Weiner:  In fact, that’s not right. Here’s the way the bill is structured now. We are going to create an exchange so every consumer can shop for the different services that they want and compare prices. That’s the good thing. What Rep. Stupak is saying is simply because an insurance policy is in that exchange, somehow it’s getting federal dollars. That’s not the case. The fact is each individual person will be told that if they want to get an aboss, they’re not going to be — an abortion, they’re not going to be able to use any subsidy, any plan that’s provided by the federal government to do that. That’s already going to be the law. Rep. Stupak wants to go far beyond that and say that anyone who offers insurance that is going to be in this exchange, to even offer the service, it can’t even be in there, even though it gets zero federal dollars, that’s going too far.

Megyn: He says he likes the Hyde amendment, which right now provides that no taxpayer dollars can be used for abortion except in certain limited cases like rape, insist, that kind of thing, but he says keep the Hyde amendment law and Henry Waxman says to him no, and you heard what he said, Rep. Weiner, Henry Waxman, according to Bart stupak, said but we want to pay for abortions, we think we should. How can — how can you say that doesn’t matter?

Weiner: Hold on a second, you’re asking Anthony Weiner to comment on Megyn overhearing what Bart Stupak said? Wait a minute. why don’t we talk about what’s in the law. If Bart Stupak says tomorrow I want to restate the Hyde amendment, done. No one is objecting to that.

Megyn: Apparently someone is.

Weiner: Incorrect. no, incorrect.

Megyn: It doesn’t matter to you at all that congress — that you’ve got congressman Waxman according to Stupak telling him we want to pay for aborings with taxpayer money?

Weiner: It doesn’t —

Megyn: And he says we think we should.

Weiner: What’s important is not what you’re telling me Stupak and Waxman are talking about. What’s important is what you and I are talking about, which is what’s in this bill. It’s relevant — I’ll respond and I’ll give you the floor, I promise.

Megyn: Here’s why it’s relevant. It’s because people are worried that once this thing gets passed it’s a slippery slope and that the ban on federal funding for abortion in the senate bill is tied to the Hyde amendment, and if the Hyde amendment, which bans taxpayer dollars going to abortion is repealed that, it will then be open season for taxpayer-funded abortions under the law.

Weiner: That would be a —

Megyn: That’s why the attitude of those in control like Waxman matters. Now the floor is yours.

Weiner: The repeal of the Hyde amendment is contemplated nowhere. You would be exactly right if someone thought about repealing the Hyde amendment, we’d have a legitimate policy discussion. I’d be within own side, Stupak would be on another. That’s not being contemplated. You’re exactly right, so long as the Hyde amendment continues to be the law of the land and the Hyde amendment says as clear as paper, as paper that no federal tax dollars can go to abortion, period, end of conversation. Congressman Stupak wants to go beyond that. that’s the — that’s the only controversy.

Megyn: I don’t understand why Waxman would be trying to persuade Stupak to come on board and vote for this bill by saying — because Stupak is saying I don’t like it because I think money goes towards abortion. I know you disagree. but that’s what he’s saying. and Waxman responds to him, congressman Weiner, by saying but we think it should, this is a quote, but we want to pay for abortion.

Weiner: Megyn, I got to tell you, you’ve asked me five ways to comment on Waxman’s conversation with Stupak. Isn’t it much easier that we talk about what’s in the bill and not?

Megyn: It’s not going to happen. Waxman can say whatever he wants, people don’t need to worry about that in.

Weiner: You can have a conversation about a waxman-Stupak — Waxman-Stupak conversation I did not hear.

Megyn: You heard it.

Weiner: No, I did not hear the conversation. I can tell you what’s in the bill. Maybe that would be helpful. What’s in the bill is the preservation of the Hyde amendment. What’s not in the bill is the repeal of the Hyde amendment. Whatever conversations went on about that subject, those are the facts, and so while I’m not crazy about the Hyde amendment, to say that it’s being repealed is something I haven’t even heard Bart Stupak is saying. I’m not saying it’s repealed, either, but he and others are worried in the future if it gets repealed.

Weiner: I think in the future we may want to have a debate whether it should be but we certainly shouldn’t do it now because there’s no need for it now.

Megyn: He’s got other concerns which I tried to voice. for the record we asked Stupak and Waxman to come on, neither agreed, so I appreciate you coming on and giving us down sights on it, you’re always a stand-up guy here. All the best.

Weiner: Appreciate it. …

To view the video of Rep. Stupak’s revealing coversation with Rep. Waxman, Click Here.