By Calvin Freiburger
PolitiFact has come to the defense of a COVID-19 economic stimulus proposal championed by Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, denying the charge that the legislation would have funded abortion. On Friday, March for Life Action responded with its own fact-check of the “fact-checkers.”
The main features of the so-called HEROES Act would have been another series of direct payments to individual Americans (many of whom have been forbidden from going to jobs deemed “non-essential”), food assistance funding, hazard pay for “essential” health workers, and money for increased testing. It also contained various unrelated Democrat priorities, including vote-by-mail.
The bill’s most controversial aspect, however, was its potential to subsidize elective abortions. Last month, PolitiFact denied it would have done so, admitting it would have made Planned Parenthood eligible for loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), but maintaining that the “largely speculative” accusation is still “mostly false” because the HEROES Act doesn’t specifically mention abortion and the Hyde Amendment would still apply to funds distributed under it.
This week, March for Life Action (MFLA) responded with a piece laying out no less than eight ways the HEROES Act puts tax dollars toward abortion.
Specifically, MFLA’s Ann Clare Levy identifies the aforementioned change making Planned Parenthood eligible for PPP; four different relief funds created by the bill, none of which contain Hyde language; subsidies for health insurance plans that cover elective abortions; and language that could override the Hyde Amendment by declaring no person can be “excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination … based on any factor … such as … pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.”
“While it would be great if Politifact got the record straight, what is really important is that we take a stand to make sure our lawmakers know that pro-life Americans DO NOT support ANY public funding of the abortion industry,” Levy wrote.
The HEROES Act has passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, but will meet resistance in the Republican-controlled Senate. Even if it fails to become law, it functions as a preview of what Democrats have in store should they gain the presidency and full control of Congress in November.
As of June 5, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 1.9 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 110,000 deaths and 715,000 recoveries. An estimated 42 percent of those deaths have come from nursing homes.
As a result of states locking down “non-essential” activity in response, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, with more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment and studies predicting that tens of thousands of small businesses that have closed down will never reopen. With various states lifting or softening their lockdowns last month, the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday that a record 2.5 million jobs were restored in May.