Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour Signs Health Care Abortion Funding Opt Out
by Steven Ertelt
May 24, 2010
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour made his the third state to enact a law that would allow it to opt out of some of the federal abortion funding in the health care bill. Despite his executive order, President Barack Obama signed the bill that would force taxpayers to fund abortions.
States can use a provision in the legislation to avoid paying for some abortions but there’s no way state’s can avoid all of the abortion funding Obama approved.
Today, Barbour signed a bill, SB 3214, that takes effect immediately — well before the abortion provisions in the health care measure come into play.
"Mississippi continues to be the safest place to be an unborn child in America today," Barbour said. "This bill ensures that taxpayers’ money will not fund abortions if the health insurance exchanges are implemented under the federal health care law."
The state follows Arizona and Tennessee in having such a law on the books. Oklahoma has sent a bill that is the sixth in the nation to its governor, though it, like two others, has not been signed into law.
The Mississippi House voted 88-25 last month to give final approval to the measure.
Backers of the bill say they want to make sure none of the money the state would authorize under the health care bill when it goes into effect in 2014 would pay for abortions.
Senate Appropriations Chair and first district congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee was the main sponsor of the legislation.
"The Legislature of the State of Mississippi finds that Section 1303 of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states are explicitly permitted to pass laws prohibiting qualified health plans offered through an exchange in their state from offering abortion cove," the bill says. "It is the purpose of this act to affirmatively opt out of allowing qualified health plans that cover abortions to participate in exchanges within the State of Mississippi."
"No abortion coverage may be provided by a qualified health plan offered through an exchange created pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act within the State of Mississippi," it continues.
Terri Herring of PLAN for Mississippi told LifeNews.com that she applauded Nunnelee and said he "took the lead in the state Senate and is long time friend of pro-life efforts."
"House friends held the line unlike [Congressman Bart] Stupak and refused to adjourn with majority vote until bill was voted out," she added.
The legislation has the states opting out of using state tax money to pay for abortions in state health care exchanges — though other abortion funding in the government-run health care bill can’t be suppressed by state efforts.
Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses. The new law will keep any insurance plans on the state exchanges from offering abortion coverage.
The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.
ACTION: Thank Governor Barbour by going to http://www.governorbarbour.com/index.html
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