Family Research Council

October 29, 2013 - Tuesday

Revenge is Tweet, Say Pro-lifers

People may be losing their coverage under ObamaCare, but abortion certainly isn't. For more than two million Americans, a routine trip to the mailbox is turning into a health care nightmare, as cancellation notices flood homes that took President Obama at his word that they could keep their health care plans. For as many as 16 million people, being dropped from their policies is just the beginning of the bad news. Once they reenroll on the government's alternatives, they'll have no way of knowing what their plans include -- and whether that "coverage" funds the destruction of innocent human life.

As part of the regulations on how the state exchanges will work, anyone registered in an insurance plan that covers abortion will be responsible for sharing the cost. But here's the hitch: applicants won't know if their policy does include abortion until after they're enrolled.

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explained this way back in 2009. "[W]hether you're male or female, whether you're 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate [abortion] account that everyone in the exchange would pay... It is a bit confusing, but it's really an accounting that would apply across the board and not just to women, and certainly not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage."

To keep consumers in the dark, Congress included a gag order on the rule that blocks companies from explaining the abortion surcharges up front. Most Americans shopping for a plan will have to wait until they get their statement of benefits to know if their policy violates their beliefs -- and even then, they may not know how much the surcharge is!

The fine print is what conservatives are calling HHS's "secrecy clause," and at tomorrow's Oversight hearing they're asking the "most transparent administration in history" to own up to its agenda and give Americans the real choice they say they support. From 9:00 am until noon on Wednesday, a coalition of pro-life groups is hoping to light a fire on Twitter that exposes the President's sham on taxpayer-funded abortion. If you have a Twitter account, use it to tell @Sebelius to #BeTransparent about which plans include abortion coverage. Organizers like Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, and Pro-life Action League want the country to understand that this is just another glitch with Healthcare.gov -- this is coordinated deception.

Unless something changes, more Americans will be roped into bankrolling the dark world of Planned Parenthood -- without even knowing! Join the movement. Log on to Twitter tomorrow and use the hashtag #BeTransparent to help hash out the facts about ObamaCare! For more information and sample tweets, click here.

Appealing to a Better Judgment in Texas Abortion Suit

It looks like Texas will have to wait a little longer to celebrate the implementation of one of America's strongest pro-life laws. Yesterday, federal court Judge Lee Yeakel put parts of the law on ice in the first round of what's sure to be a fierce legal battle over the state's common sense abortion restrictions.

The measures, which grabbed headlines across the country in the wake of the Dr. Kermit Gosnell abortion murder trial, passed this summer despite the Left's attempts to shout down -- and in some cases, chase down -- pro-life leaders. Minutes after Governor Rick Perry (R) signed the bill into law, Planned Parenthood and other clinics filed suit, arguing that the proposal would hurt business and restrict a woman's access to abortion. Although the law's ban on aborting unborn children at 20 weeks (when they can experience severe pain) was upheld, Judge Yeakel did strike down the provision of the Lone Star State's law that required a doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital with 30 miles of the clinic where the abortion is performed. Obviously, the provision was designed to protect women in the event that something went horribly wrong and medical complications arose.

While Yeakel acknowledged that protecting the mother's health is a legitimate concern, he ruled that the evidence presented in this case didn't show that the admitting-privileges requirement was rationally related to advancing that concern. He also held that even if this rational basis were shown, this provision imposes an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion. Unfortunately, Judge Yeakel did create a loophole in the part of the law that would mandate abortion inducing drugs, such as RU-486, to be administered according to FDA protocols. He noted that U.S. Supreme Court precedent requires abortion laws to make exceptions if the life or health of the mother is in danger and applied that to the RU-496 portion of the law. Yeakel ignored the fact that RU-486, which is often prescribed off-label, has led to thousands of adverse events among women -- including at least 10 deaths.

Although the outcome on the abortion doctor admitting privileges provision was a disappointing one, both Governor Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott aren't backing down. No sooner did the judge void part of the law than Greg Abbott promised to appeal. Pro-lifers came too far and fought too hard to give up easily. We applaud their resolve. Thousands of future Texans' lives depend on it.


** Opposition to the ObamaCare website is coming from every corner -- including FRC's tech team! Don't miss this great RealClearTechnology column by our own Stephan Hilbelink, a long-time web developer and designer, who explains where the real responsibility for the botched network lies in " Five Reasons Obama and HHS Are to Blame for Healthcare.gov ."


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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