Louisiana House Approves Bill to Opt Out of Some Health Care Abortion Funding
by Steven Ertelt
April 23, 2010
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Louisiana is the latest state to move ahead with a bill that would allow it to opt out of some of the abortion funding on the national health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law. HB 1247 cleared the Louisiana House floor without any negative amendments by a vote of 76-13.
Rep. Frank Hoffmann, a Republican, sponsored the measure that has the support of pro-life Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The bill states, "Nothing in this Act shall be construed or implied to recognize any independent right to abortion under the constitution or laws of this state, nor shall it be construed or implied to recognize the constitutional validity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010."
Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, told LifeNews.com he was elated by the vote.
"With this passage, Louisiana is one step closer to opting out of federally subsidized abortions authorized through health care reform. In Louisiana, we know abortion is not health care, and HB 1247 makes sure that insurance dollars do not fund abortion," he said.
"Louisiana Right to Life Federation is proud to work closely with Rep Hoffman, the Jindal Administration, and the Louisiana House to move this critical legislation forward to the senate," he said.
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. HB 2681 will keep any insurance plans on the Tennessee exchange 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.
Passage of the bill comes as several other states consider similar measures and Tennessee sent its version of its bill to Governor Phil Bredensen, an abortion advocate who has not said whether he will sign it.
Dorinda Bordlee, Senior Counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund and a former Louisiana-based pro-life attorney, also commented on passage.
Her group has assisted Louisiana and several other states "in drafting legislation to limit the harm of Obamacare by prohibiting the coverage of elective abortion in health plans included in the future tax-subsidized state exchanges."
"Abortion is about destroying lives, not saving them. Thats why elective abortion isn’t health care and has no place in health insurance policies or health reform legislation," she said.
Bordlee also noted that BDF’s legislation recognizes the importance of the pending Obamacare court challenges.
State Rep. Juan LaFonta, a new Orleans Democrat, tried to weaken the measure.
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