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RNC Offers Insurance Coverage for Abortions

5574442Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET with reaction from RNC Chair Michael Steele.

The Republican National Committee offers its employees insurance coverage for elective abortions, the Politico reports. That's a seeming contradiction to the party platform and the GOP's current position on an abortion amendment added to the House health care bill.

The GOP platform calls elective abortion "a fundamental assault on innocent human life," according to Politico.

RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho reportedly said the policy has been in effect since 1991, long before current RNC Chairman Michael Steele assumed his leadership role. Upon learning of the coverage in their insurance plan, Steele instructed the RNC to opt out of any coverage for elective abortion services.

"Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Steele said in a statement. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."

Originally, the RNC chose not to opt out of abortion coverage, Cigna representatives told Politico.

Almost every single Republican in the House of Representatives voted in favor of an amendment to the Democrats' health care bill, offered by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Penn.), that explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for plans that cover abortion. It also effectively limits private insurers from being able to offer abortion coverage within the proposed national health insurance exchange. The amendment passed with some Democratic support.

The only Republican who bucked the party and voted "present" on the amendment did so in an attempt to foil the overall health care bill's chances of passage.

"We believe in the sanctity of life, and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment addresses a moral issue of the utmost concern," House GOP leaders John Boehner (R-Ohio), Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said in a statement after the vote. "It will limit abortion in the United States. Because of this, while we strongly and deeply oppose the underlying bill, we decided to stand with Life and support Stupak-Pitts."

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