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Abortion Coverage for Congress? Obamacare Could Zap Ban on Tax-Funded Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 9/2/13 10:57 AM

National

The Obamacare health care “reform” law will fund abortions and has already resulted in sending more than $1 million to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. But one pro-life groups warns that the law could zap a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions for federal employees — including members of Congress.

“Recently the federal government’s human resources department, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), issued a proposed rule to help subsidize healthcare for Congressional staff and Members of Congress being forced onto the Obamacare state exchanges,” says the Family Research Council in an alert to its members. “The kicker is those federal dollars may now go to pay for plans offered on those exchanges that include abortion coverage.”

Obamacare allows health plans offered on the exchanges to include elective abortion and nothing in the proposed rule would prohibit member of Congress or their staff from receiving federal contributions if they select a benefits package that includes abortion.

“There’s been a longstanding ban on federal funds going to pay for abortion in Congressional and federal healthcare plans, but it now appears the administration is pushing a new abortion subsidy. The OPM plans to use its authority found in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) to contribute premium support to plans offered on the state exchanges that cover elective abortion,” FRC continues.

“The administration claims it will comply with the law prohibiting federal funds from going to abortion coverage, but healthcare experts and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the author of the FEHBP ban, remain skeptical since OPM rule does not restrict Members and staff from receiving contributions if they choose plans with abortion coverage,” the Family Research Council notes. “If experience is any guide, where abortion is not explicitly prohibited it’s implicitly allowed. If the Administration plans to respect current law it should be an easy lift to include a ban in the proposed regulations, if for no other reason than to clarify an ambiguity.”

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Right now the OPM is soliciting the public to comment on the new rule. The pro-life group hopes pro-life advocates will submit comments to the federal government opposing taxpayer financing of abortions.

“Join us in telling the administration via public comment to quit hiding behind arcane regulations and bring this issue into the sunlight by explicitly prohibiting Members of Congress and their staff from receiving contributions through FEHBP for plans on the healthcare law’s state exchanges that include abortion coverage,” FRC concludes. “Please provide a public comment to stop the Obama Administration from including abortion in Congressional Healthcare plans.”