A pro-life attorney makes the case in a new opinion column that one of the main goals of the Obama administration’s push for Obamacare was promoting abortion. Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life makes the case that this is seen in the recent mandate the Obama administration put into place — a mandate that requires religious employers to pay for drugs like ella, that clearly causes abortions, for their employees.
An excerpt from Franzonello’s column:
Though the deck seemed stacked from the beginning, pro-life groups still mounted an effort to keep coverage for life-ending drugs and devices from being forced on nearly all Americans perversely under the guise of necessary “preventive” health care for women.
Never formally invited by the IOM to present, pro-life organizations — including Americans United for Life — attended and spoke up during the public comments portion of every open IOM committee meeting to urge the panel against including life-ending drugs and devices in the mandate.
At every meeting, the IOM panel was reminded by AUL and others that the “preventive services” provision was, as its author Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) stated, “strictly concerned” with “preventing diseases.”
Further, the IOM panel was reminded that Mikulski made assurances on the Senate floor that, under her provision, abortion would not be covered “in any way.”
And at every meeting it was explained to the IOM panel that ella, newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a “emergency contraceptive,” is — just like the abortion drug RU-486 — a selective progesterone receptor modulator. By blocking progesterone, ella, like RU-486, can end even an “established” pregnancy. Thus the IOM committee was well-aware of the facts: Ella does not prevent disease. Its mandated coverage not only fails to “fit” with the stated intent of the law, but, as an abortion-inducing drug, its inclusion directly violates Mikulski’s assurances.
Despite this knowledge, in July 2011, during the IOM committee’s press conference announcing the release of its report, Chairwoman Dr. Linda Rosenstock explained, unequivocally, that the drug ella was included in her committee’s recommendation. Though Rosenstock stated her committee considered “every” comment that was presented before it, the IOM report utterly failed to address the serious concerns repeatedly presented at the meetings about ella’s abortion-inducing quality. Nowhere in its 250-page report did the committee even mention ella’s mechanisms of action.
Franzonello is right.
The IOM recommendation, opposed by pro-life groups, called for the Obama administration to require insurance programs to include birth control — such as the morning after pill or the ella drug that causes an abortion days after conception — in the section of drugs and services insurance plans must cover under “preventative care.” The companies will likely pass the added costs on to consumers, requiring them to pay for birth control and, in some instances, drug-induced abortions of unborn children in their earliest days.
The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute, which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.
Twice, the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women shut out pro-life groups from making official comments about the implementation of ObamaCare. The panel shut out pro-life groups in November 2010 while allowing Carolyn Westhoff of the Planned Parenthood abortion business and Judy Waxman of the pro-abortion National Women’s Law Center to testify. It did so again in January 2011.
As was the case both times, pro-life groups were left off of the official roster of speakers and forced to issues comments during the public comment portion of the meeting just before it concluded.