Last night on the House floor, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) spoke to Congress about "school based health clinics" (SBHC), labeling the clinics discussed in current House health care legislation as "sex clinics."
The conservative congresswoman suggested that if health care reform passes, the nation's schools might begin offering abortions to students. Bachman's interpretation of the health care reform bill holds that the legislation is designed to bring Planned Parenthood into educational facilities. According to Bachmann,
The bill goes on to say what's going to go on -- comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care -- is that abortion? Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser.
Section 2511 of the health care bill referred to by Bachmann, makes no mention of abortion and stipulates,
(i) "SBHC services will be provides in accordance with Federal, State, and local laws governing--
(I) obtaining parental or guardian consent; and
(II) patient privacy and student records, including section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and section 444 of the General Education Provision Act;
The concept of "school based health care clinics" was introduced under the notion that students achieve higher academic performance when they are healthy and receive adequate medical attention. According to the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care, if implemented SBHCs would give schools access to physicians "so students avoid health-related absense and get support to succeed in the classroom."
UPDATE: The nonpartisan fact-checking group PolitiFact rips into Bachmann's claim, rating it a "Pants On Fire" falsehood.
We see no language in the three main versions of the bill that would allow school-based clinics, which have a long history of providing basic health services to underprivileged students, to provide abortions. Nor would the clinics even be new they have been around for three decades. So we rate the claim Pants on Fire!