NAE President Leith Anderson sent a letter to the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader urging that coverage and funding of abortion be excluded from any health care reform legislation approved by Congress. Anderson said, “If facilitation of abortion is not the intent of Congress, then language specifically excluding abortion must be incorporated into the bill, as has been the practice of the federal government for over thirty years.” 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

Health care reform is an issue of interest to many members of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). The NAE represents more than 45,000 local churches from over 40 different denominations, so it is certainly no surprise that NAE members have a range of opinions in this policy area. However, one point on which the NAE as a whole wishes to be very clear is its opposition to abortion and, most assuredly, the use of taxpayer resources to provide abortions.

Up to this point, it appears the preference has been to avoid reference to the contentious issue of abortion in health care reform legislation. However, leaving aside language about abortion does not leave aside the issue. Quite to the contrary, the NAE is concerned that abortion, if not specifically excluded from being covered and funded in the plans arranged for by this legislation, may be considered to be approved under the legislation after enactment. If facilitation of abortion is not the intent of Congress, then language specifically excluding abortion must be incorporated into the bill, as has been the practice of the federal government for over thirty years.

Members of the NAE believe that the Bible reveals God’s calling and care for persons before they are born, which is why the NAE firmly opposes abortion generally. Also stemming from this belief is the NAE’s continued interest in the conversation about how to find common ground in the effort to reduce the abortion rate in the United States. The NAE holds that federal subsidization of abortion would run counter to this aspiration. Indeed, the possibility that money taxed from their earnings could be used to facilitate the intentional termination of prenatal lives is anathema to many members of the church congregations that the NAE represents.

On behalf of the NAE, I respectfully request that coverage and funding of abortion be explicitly excluded from any health care reform legislation approved by the House of Representatives.

Thank you for your leadership of the Unites States House of Representatives. I am grateful for your time and consideration of this letter.

Sincerely,

Leith Anderson
President

Leith Anderson
Leith Anderson is president emeritus of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor emeritus of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He served as NAE president from 2007-2019, after twice serving as interim president. He served as senior pastor of Wooddale Church for 35 years before retiring in 2011. He has been published in many periodicals and has written over 20 books. Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Bradley University and Denver Seminary.