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Embarrassed Republican Party opts out of abortion coverage for employees

November 13, 2009 |  9:43 am

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Since 1991, the National Republican Committee has offered its employees a health care policy from Cigna that includes coverage for elective abortions. Given the GOP's major push to keep abortion coverage out of President Obama's health care reform bill, the news of the party's own insurance policy  -- which Politico broke yesterday -- came as something of an embarrassment.

“We were not aware of this, obviously, and this will, of course, be fixed,” said James Bopp Jr., a Republican National Committee member from Indiana and an attorney who serves as counsel to the National Right to Life organization. “I think Chairman Steele will see to it that that’s the case.”

That would be Michael Steele (pictured above), chairman of the RNC and a longtime abortion foe, who said in a statement today, "Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose. I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."

Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak rallied anti-abortion forces in the House this week to enact an amendment that would ensure no government funds go to abortion coverage. The bill is now in the Senate, where pro-abortion forces are galvanizing their supporters to reverse the vote.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Credit: Win McNamee / Getty Images North America

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