Pro-Lifers Irate over Obamacare Abortion Funds
WASHINGTON -- Outraged lawmakers and pro-life leaders gathered outside the U.S. Capitol building Thursday to demand Congress put an end to Obamacare's massive funding of health care plans that pay for abortions
They pointed out past laws specifically forbid this, but Obamacare is ignoring that legislation and the president's own promises that no taxpayer dollars would subsidize abortion.
The speakers at the Capitol Hill news conference were reacting to a new Government Accountability Office report showing massive federal funding of abortion is allowed for under the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare.
"One thousand-thirty six plans cover elective abortions and are subsidized by taxpayer funds," Arina Grossu, with the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity, said.
"You not only can't keep your doctor, you also can't avoid supporting abortion if you're a taxpayer in this country given Obamacare," Ovide LaMontagne, general counsel of Americans United for Life, said.
The Hyde Amendment passed by Congress in 1977 has made it illegal for taxpayer money to pay for abortion. President Obama also pledged during negotiations over the Affordable Care Act that would continue.
Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said the opposite has happened.
"Obama promised up and down, right and left, that abortion would not be covered in the health care law, and that Americans could be assured on his promise that the Hyde protections that we've known since the 1970s would still be covered in the health care law," Monahan told CBN News. "Well, unfortunately, we know now that President Obama has broken his promises."
"Nancy Pelosi said you wouldn't know what's in the bill unless you pass it - except for this: President Obama and the leadership of Congress said there would be no federal subsidies of abortion coverage," LaMontagne added. "And they have either lied or been grossly negligent in enforcing and following up on their promises."
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., helps lead the pro-life caucus in the House of Representatives.
"Agree or disagree with abortion funding, and thankfully a majority of Americans do not want public funds being used for abortion, but people don't like to be deceived. They don't like to be lied to," he said. "And that's exactly what has happened here."
"These massive subsidies for abortion-covering plans amount to a sharp break from decades of federal policy under the Hyde Amendment," Susan Muskett, with the National Right to Life Committee, added.
"It is completely, totally, absolutely contrary to the Hyde Amendment," he said.
Smith and other pro-life legislators spearheaded a move in the House to fix the problem with a bill called HR7 but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to let the Senate vote on its version of that bill.
"Polls have shown that Americans don't want abortion coverage in their plans. And they also don't support federal funds for abortion," Melissa Swearingen, with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said. "The best solution would be a simple and clean fix. Enact HR7, which is the 'No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.' It does basically what it says in the title: it prohibits federal funds going to abortion."
"But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has prevented Senate action on identical legislation," Muskett pointed out.
"Sen. Reid when he was in the House was one of the most pro-life members of the House of Representatives," Smith said. "His record was identical to that of Henry Hyde."
In the spirit of that record, Smith asked Sen. Reid to get out of the way and let the Senate vote to make it so taxpayer money can't be used to pay for abortions.
The GAO report found that every single Obamacare taxpayer subsidized plan in Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont pays for abortion on demand.
In New York, 405 of the 426 subsidized plans subsidize abortion on demand. In California, it's 86 of the 90 subsidized plans, and in Massachusetts, 109 of 111.