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Planned Parenthood Applauds Obama HHS Mandate Revisions

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/1/13 1:20 PM

National

While leading pro-life groups are complaining that the proposed new revisions to the controversial HHS mandate do not go far enough in protecting the conscience rights of pro-life companies and organizations that want to opt out, Planned Parenthood is happy.

When the nation’s leading abortion business applauds the Obama administration, that’s confirmation the revisions to the HHS mandate do not provide adequate protection for pro-life groups that don’t want to pay for birth control or abortion-causing drugs in insurance plans for their employees.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America today said that the revised accommodation to the Obamacare mandate “will ensure that women can access no co-pay birth control as part of basic health care.” Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said:

“This policy delivers on the promise of women having access to birth control without co-pays no matter where they work. Of course, we are reviewing the technical aspects of this proposal, but the principle is clear and consistent. This policy makes it clear that your boss does not get to decide whether you can have birth control.

“Birth control is a basic and essential component of women’s preventive health care. Women have been fighting for access to birth control for decades, and this is a historic advance for both health care and equality. As one of the nation’s leading providers of reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood has led the charge for access to contraception for nearly a century and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that women have access to birth control without hurdles or co-pays.”

On the other hand, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, slammed the policy “updates” announced today.
“Once again, President Obama’s so-called ‘compromise’ is unacceptable – religious and moral freedom is not up for negotiation,” said Dannenfelser.

She told LifeNews: “There must be no religious ‘test’ by the government as to who, and what type of entities, are entitled to a conscience. We demand respect for non-religious entities such as the Susan B. Anthony List that recognize the taking of human life is the antithesis of health care. Government policy under our constitution, history and statutory law has recognized the right of citizens to be free from government compulsion of conscience on such fundamental matters. The only acceptable outcome is the complete repeal of the HHS mandate and the restoration of a thriving marketplace where Americans can choose health care coverage consistent with their beliefs.”

Last June, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser and Charlotte Lozier Institute President Chuck Donovan submitted a joint comment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services condemning the Preventative Services Mandate because of its impact on groups with pro-life convictions based on civil and ethical concerns and not just religious doctrine.

“Conscience is not the preserve of religious institutions but the birthright and legacy of every citizen,” Donovan said.

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“As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, some former Members of Congress are publicly lamenting their vote for it, which cost them their job during the 2010 midterm elections. Both former Representatives Bart Stupak and Kathy Dahlkemper have decried the fact that with the HHS Mandate, President Obama violated the abortion funding “compromise” they thought they had secured. It is time to revisit the 2009 law and resolve this matter once and for all,” SBA added.

The pro-abortion group NARAL is also happy with the new mandate revisions.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the Obama administration’s new regulations to implement the contraceptive-coverage policy reinforce the White House’s commitment to women’s health.

Based on an initial review, NARAL Pro-Choice America is optimistic that these new draft regulations will make near-universal contraceptive coverage a reality.

“Today’s draft regulation affirms yet again the Obama administration’s commitment to fulfilling the full promise of its historic contraception policy,” said Hogue. “Thanks to this commitment, most American women will get birth-control coverage without extra expense. Increased access to birth control is a huge win for women and is necessary to prevent unintended pregnancy–a goal on which both pro-choice and anti-choice people ought to agree.”

Hogue also said her organization’s member activists continue to take public action in support of the administration’s contraceptive-coverage policy. Last year, NARAL Pro-Choice America spent approximately $250,000 to air radio ads in support of the policy.

The most recent polling data from December 2012 shows Americans support a religious exemption to the mandate.