Louisiana Senate Panel Oks Bill to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
May 26, 2010
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Louisiana lawmakers today moved a bill forward that would have the state become the next to opt out of at least some of the abortion funding in the health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law. Three states have turned their bills into law and three other states have passed them.
The bill cleared the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee after lawmakers changed the measure.
They modified the legislation from banning all health insurance coverage for abortion to affecting only the state insurance purchasing pools the federal law sets up. The bill received a 5-2 vote and now moves to the full state Senate.
Rep. Frank Hoffmann, a Republican sponsoring the bill in the House, said he was fine with the changes senators made to it, according to an AP report. He said the changes are cosmetic because he knows of no insurance companies in Louisiana that pay for elective abortions.
Julie Mickelberry, of Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, opposed the bill, but it had the support of Benjamin Clapper, the head of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation.
"Today, the bill to opt Louisiana out of abortions subsidized by national health care reform passed the Senate Health and Welfare committee by a 5-2 margin," Clapper told LifeNews.com.
"The bill now heads to the Senate floor where it will pass and be sent to Governor Jindal for his signature. This legislation reflects the strong belief of the people of Louisiana that abortion is not health care, and that government dollars should in no way fund abortion," he added.
"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.
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.
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."
Meanwhile, AP indicates the House considered a bill today to prohibit medical malpractice coverage of abortion businesses when they are doing abortions not necessary to save the life of the mother.
Abortion advocates say the bill is designed to close abortion centers and that they will challenge it in court.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee also considered another bill that would give the state health secretary more power to deny or revoke the license of an abortion center for violating state health and safety standards.
Rep. Fred Mills, D-Parks, sponsored the bill and said it puts abortion centers in line with the kind of oversight the state has on legitimate medical facilities.
Related web sites:
Louisiana Right to Life – https://prolifelouisiana.org
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