Gibbs lies about the Hyde Amendment

Robert Gibbs, making stuff up again:

Q: In a letter to senators last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that, I’m quoting, ‘So far the health-reform bills considered in committee, including the new Senate Finance Committee bill, have not met the president’s challenge of barring the use of federal dollars for abortion.’

Is that statement wrong?

GIBBS: Well, I don’t want to get me into trouble at church, but I would mention there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion. That isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.

Q: There have been several amendments that would explicitly bar [federal funding for] abortions that were rejected–

GIBBS: Again, there’s a fairly well-documented federal law that prevents it.

I wish. I’d like to hear Gibbs cite the “fairly well-documented” law of which he speaks. He can’t, because there is no such law.

The Hyde Amendment bars Medicaid from spending money on abortion. It does not apply magically to other legislation. Consequently, similar amendments have been attached to other spending bills. But, the health care bill contains no such provision. In fact, the Senate Finance Committee voted one down.

Gibbs’s statement is an outright lie.

UPDATE (10/14): Kathryn Jean Lopez elaborates.

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