The (Trans)parent Trap
If the President didn’t have anything to hide on abortion funding, he’s had plenty of time to prove it! Instead, organizations like FRC have been left to deliver the disclosure that the administration won’t. For all the cover-ups of this White House (and there are plenty!), the biggest may be the details of the federal health care exchange.
After four years of denying the law covers abortion-on-demand, the General Accounting Office (GAO) finally blew the lid off the ObamaCare lie and confirmed what groups like FRC have said all along: that Americans are footing the bill for the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion in history. And making matters worse, the entire administration refuses to admit it. Remember “we have to pass ObamaCare to find out what’s in it?” Well, now, “you have to buy it to find out what’s in it.”
To keep consumers in the dark about their plans, the government blocked companies from explaining the abortion surcharges up front. In other words, most Americans shopping for a plan have had to wait until they get their statement of benefits to know if their policy violates their beliefs -- and even then, they might not know how much the abortion surcharge is! And under this year’s rollout, the problem is skyrocketing. “2015 appears to be shaping up to include more abortion plans and companies switching policies to cover abortion on demand,” our report found.
The good news is that pro-lifers have options. The bad news is that they didn’t know what those options are -- until today. Together with the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), FRC is flipping on the flood lights onto the ObamaCare exchange and launching a special website dedicated to telling you what the Obama administration won’t: which state insurance plans include abortion. This afternoon, FRC joined our friends at CLI and Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), lead sponsor of “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” in the House Triangle to expose the President’s hypocrisy.
If there’s one thing we know about “the most honest and open administration in history,” it’s that this White House has their own definition of transparency. Fortunately for voters, Congressman Smith doesn’t share it. “The Obama administration’s cover-up of abortion insurance plans on the exchange is unnecessary, unacceptable and absolutely unconscionable,” said Rep. Smith. “Consumers have a right to know. Abortion is not healthcare -- it dismembers and chemically poisons defenseless unborn children and hurts women.”
FRC’s Arina Grossu agreed. “People who sign up for plans with abortion on demand are paying for other people’s abortions under that plan through an abortion surcharge. Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- in all 50 states is being forced to subsidize others’ abortions through their taxpayer funds to the beat of $855 billion in the next 10 years. So much for no taxpayer funding of abortion.”
At ObamaCareAbortion.com, users can search through insurance carriers to find out which ones cover abortion on demand and which don’t. And while the site isn’t yet exhaustive, the platform is a significant step forward for Americans who want to fill in the blanks on their policy benefits before they commit to them. Of course, the irony is that the kick-off to this new tool coincides with the release of videos in which the ObamaCare brain trust, Jonathan Gruber, credits the “lack of transparency” for the law’s passage.
Thanks to this website, the White House won’t have the luxury of fooling Americans much longer. As House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated, this is just another in a long line of whoppers sold to voters by a desperate White House. “President Obama said taxpayers wouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions in #ObamaCare. That wasn’t true.” Check out the site today and make sure you’re informed before you’re insured!
FRC Deploys Expert in Battle over Military Freedom
The military is combatting a lot of things -- but its reputation as an anti-faith institution may be the toughest. After a six-year tug-of-war with the Obama administration, conservatives blew the whistle yesterday on the Pentagon’s crackdown on religious liberty in a special hearing of the House Armed Services Committee. As part of the panel on Military Personnel, witnesses talked about the need for more clarification from the Defense Department -- especially how it plans to comply with Congress’s new protections for religious expression.
To critics, who complain that the military is imposing faith on troops, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) vehemently disagreed. “No one is defending proselytizing or harassment,” he said. “We’re trying to say we need protection. Just because you wear a uniform, that doesn’t mean you can no longer express your faith.” FRC’s Travis Weber, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, former Navy pilot, and attorney, pushed back on the notion that the Pentagon has somehow addressed these issues -- or worse, that they never existed in the first place.
“There are still ongoing situations in which service members telling the story of their faith and how it impacts their lives in the service are being suppressed.” For all the media’s attempts to downplay the incidents of harassment (hundreds of which were documented in FRC’s own “Clear and Present Danger” paper), the hearing made plenty of headlines -- including Stars and Stripes, CBN, Military Times, Marine Corps Times, and WTOP. If you didn’t watch the back-and-forth from Wednesday’s hearing, you won’t want to miss it. Click on the video below to hear from Travis and more.
Supporting Natural Marriage in the Natural State
Nearly 500 people gathered yesterday in Little Rock on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol, calling on the seven Justices of the State Supreme Court to “Honor Our Vote.” The Arkansas Supreme Court heard the case today challenging the state’s marriage amendment which passed in 2004 with over 75% voter approval and a decision is expected to be announced within weeks. Flanked by numerous state legislators, leaders and local pastors, FRC Action’s Executive Director, Josh Duggar, addressed the crowd calling for natural marriage to be upheld as affirmed overwhelmingly by voters. “Arkansans should not face the threat of fines or being sued for living out the deeply-held convictions of their faith. We have the First Amendment in this nation, and we have the right to live out our faith… an overwhelming majority of voters, 75%, voted to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman. This is an issue that will have huge ramifications for future generations in our state. The court should respect the freedom of the people to affirm marriage as it has always been defined,” stated Duggar.
** For more on the blockbuster marriage conference at the Vatican, check out my National Review Online interview, “When Evangelicals Got Standing Ovations at the Vatican.” Also, for more on the clash between the military and religious expression, don’t miss Travis Weber’s op-ed, “Congress to DOD: Restrictions on Religious Expression Are Still a Problem.” Last but not least, Peter Sprigg has a great Townhall.com column, “Uncommon Sense on Marriage.”
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.