Planned Parenthood Launches Campaign to Fund Birth Control Via ObamaCare
by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Planned Parenthood abortion business has launched a new national campaign designed to promote forcing insurance companies to cover birth control via the ObamaCare health care law. It wants to get the federal government to include birth control among the preventive services covered under the measure.
The plan would exploit the Mikulski amendment, which pro-life advocates warned about when it was added to the legislation.
The amendment allows the federal government to define what constitutes "preventive services" that new private health plans must cover without cost-sharing by consumers as required under the federal health reform law. During the ObamaCare debate, pro-life groups said the Obama administration could determine birth control or abortions were "preventative" and force taxpayers to shell out millions to cover the cost of them.
If Planned Parenthood is successful, private insurance plans would be forced, and thereby insured enrollees, would be forced, to pay for birth control through their premiums.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, commented on the new campaign.
"It turns out that the over $650 million that federal taxpayers gave to abortion giant Planned Parenthood from 2002-2007 is not enough. The billion dollars a year abortion monolith is now proclaiming it wants to use your tax dollars to pay for birth control for everyone, all under the aspects of Obamacare," he said.
"Bottom line, birth control should not be covered because it is an elective treatment, not a necessary one," he said. "It is only "preventive" of pregnancy — but pregnancy is not a disease."
Perkins says the coverage and funding would likely extend to drugs that can cause abortions.
"As we all know, Planned Parenthood and the Obama Administration view abortion as being included in their definition of "family planning." Even if surgical abortion funding were barred, it is likely Planned Parenthood would try to include the abortifacient drug, Ella, as well as Plan B, which can also cause an abortion," he noted.
"Private organizations should be wary, and the federal government should avoid, giving any money to an organization that now annually performs over 350,000 abortions annually while continuing to reduce the already small number of other services, including cancer screenings, that they do," he continued.
Planned Parenthood rolled out the campaign on Tuesday in conjunction with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a medical group that has become increasingly politicized.
According to an NPR report, HHS officials say an independent panel of health experts will determine whether birth control will be included in the new coverage requirements, which are expected to be issued by August 1, 2011.
PPFA and ACOG ‘s "Birth Control Matters" campaign has the goal of persuading Americans to ask elected officials to support the inclusion of birth control in the preventive care provision. The campaign, which will also target college campuses, hopes to collect one million signatures from supporters, which can be used to promote other Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion initiatives.
The new campaign is a continuation of a more internal effort, as Planned Parenthood sent 300 advocates to Congress in July to urge lawmakers to include coverage of birth control.
Although the language of the Mikulski amendment, which was intended to include preventive health screenings and services and, as she admitted during committee debate, so-called family planning services, the language did not specify the services that plans would be required to cover without cost-sharing.
During the committee debate, Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, stammered her way through an explanation of an amendment to the health care bill that would cover abortion.
When pressed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, she admitted that her language would force health insurance companies to contract with abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.
Hatch asked, "Would this include abortion providers? I mean, it looks to me like you’re expanding it to… for instance, Planned Parenthood. Would that put them into this system?"
"It would include women’s health clinics that provide comprehensive services and under the definition of a woman’s health clinic, it would include, uh, it would include, uh, Planned, uh, Parenthood clinics. It would, um, it does not expand in any way expand a service," Mikulski responded. "In other words, it does not expand, um, uh, or mandate abortion service."
Later during the hearing, Hatch asked Mikulski if she would be willing to support making the bill abortion neutral in exchange for support for the bill. She would have none of it.
Hatch asked, "Madam Chairman, would you be willing to put some language in [about] not including abortion services? Then I think you would have more support."
She responded, "No, I would not, uh, be willing to do that at this time."
Prior to the vote for the Mikulski amendment in the Senate, pro-life organizations asked members of the Senate to oppose the amendment.
"If Congress were to grant any Executive Branch entity sweeping authority to define services that private health plans must cover, merely by declaring a given service to constitute ‘preventive care’ then that authority could be employed in the future to require all health plans to cover abortions," a letter from the National Right to Life Committee to lawmakers said.
"Therefore, NRLC opposes both the Mikulski Amendment No.2791, and the underlying language of Section 1001, unless additional language is added to explicitly exclude abortion from the universe of services that might be mandated as ‘preventive care,’" the pre-vote letter added.
Americans United for Life and the Family Research Council, among other pro-life groups, joined NRLC in asking senators to oppose the Mikulski amendment because of the abortion promotion concerns.
The Mikulski amendment has also been criticized as contributing to the targeting of special needs children with abortions.
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