The buzz in the right-wing blogosphere yesterday was over Politico’s scoop that the RNC chose not to opt out of providing elective abortion coverage for their employees, at least until someone found out that’s what they were doing. Politico has accommodatingly made an unannounced edit to the story at the original link to say that’s all over now.
Two CIGNA employees apparently spilled on Thursday that the RNC had the option of not providing elective abortion in their health plan, but had chosen since 1991 not to take advantage of that option. CIGNA has an official policy of not commenting on clients, to the point of refusing to identify them, so Politico tells us that they can’t tell us if any Republican-donor-funded abortions actually took place.
The irony, of course, is that the Republican party platform has been unambiguously anti-abortion since 1980. Just in the past two weeks, Republicans in the House all-but-unanimously voted for the Stupak amendment to the healthcare bill (Shadegg voted present). The Stupak amendment would ban federal spending on any part of any insurance plan which provides coverage for abortion.
The NRCC assures Politico that their employee health insurance only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake. The party platform supports the Human Life Amendment, which wouldn’t allow for that either.
Steele says he didn’t know about the coverage, which pre-existed his tenure. He himself has come out in support of both a state-by-state approach and the Human Life amendment, so it’s possible he doesn’t see a contradiction anyway.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 13, 2009