Arkansas Gov. Signs Ban on Abortion Funding in Obamacare
by Steven Ertelt | Little Rock, AR | LifeNews.com | 2/11/13 5:19 PM
The governor of Arkansas today made his state the latest to cut abortion funding in the controversial Obamacare health care legislation that requires states to set up health insurance exchanges and Americans to purchase health insurance.
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 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.
Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law a ban on abortion coverage in the health insurance exchange. According to AN AP report, the bill would “ban insurers participating in the exchange created under the federal health care law from covering most abortions. The measure, which legislators approved last week, includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.”
With the new law, Arkansas joins Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia that have all opted out of having abortion covered in their federally-mandated insurance plans.
Pennsylvania became the first state to attempt to fund abortions under Obamacare last July when it announced the Obama Administration announced it would give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program but Pennsylvania officials quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion then-Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.
The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.
“The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com at the time.
New Mexico and Maryland also tried to fund abortions through the program until National Right to Life blew the whistle and the Obama administration was forced to back down.
When Congress passed the government-run health care bill, it did so without any limits on abortion funding and language mandating taxpayer financing of abortion in certain circumstances.
Obama eventually issued a controversial executive order supposedly taking the abortion funding issue off the table.
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However, virtually every pro-life group said it would not mitigate the abortion funding because it doesn’t have the effect of law, could be reversed in the future, and because it didn’t tackle much of the abortion funding in the bill. The Obama administration could also ignore the order and not put it in place when the health care law goes into effect.
A Quinnipiac University poll found that 67 percent of the Americans surveyed opposed funding abortion with federal funds under the health care law.
ACTION: Thank the governor by going to http://governor.arkansas.gov/contact/index.php