Pro-Life Groups Shut Out Again From Urging No Abortion in ObamaCare

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 12, 2011   |   6:44PM   |   Washington, DC

For the second time, the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women shut out pro-life groups from making official comments about the implementation of ObamaCare.

The IOM has been besieged by Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion groups looking to expand their federal funding by getting abortion or birth control declared preventative. The committee is hearing comments about regulatory mandates for women’s preventive services under Obamacare.

Having a positive designation could allow the federal government to force insurance companies to cover abortions or birth control under ObamaCare.

The panel, charged with analyzing whether or not such funding should be included in the implementation of Obamacare, previously shut out pro-life groups in November while allowing Carolyn Westhoff of the Planned Parenthood abortion business and Judy Waxman of the pro-abortion National Women’s Law Center to testify.

As was the case then, pro-life groups were left off of the official roster of speakers and forced to issues comments during the public comment portion of the meeting just before it concluded.

Officials with the Family Research Council told the federal advisory committee on the new health care law of their strong opposition to designating abortion as a means of pregnancy-prevention.

Jeanne Monahan, FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, made the following comments after addressing the second meeting for the Committee:

“The committee should not recommend the inclusion of abortion as a means of preventing pregnancy. FRC rejects any suggestion that ‘abortion is healthcare’ or that pregnancy is a disease. Including abortion, whether chemical or surgical, as a mandated, free of charge preventive care service would further expand abortion in the health care law and undermine the conscience rights of many in the health care profession.

“Additionally, several drugs have been approved by the FDA to be legally categorized as ’emergency contraceptives,’ but can destroy a preborn baby before or after implantation. Any mandates including drugs such as ella would expand taxpayer funding for abortion. Inclusion of contraceptives also undermines conscience protections that President Obama promised would be maintained.

Meanwhile, FRC sent a letter today to pro-abortion Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius encouraging HHS to not recommend the inclusion of abortion or contraceptive drugs as a mandated service that all health plans would be required to cover at no cost to patients. The letter states that to do so would violate the principles of conscience rights laws.

Monahan commented on that letter as well:

“Earlier today, we sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius urging HHS not to mandate that abortion or contraceptives be covered free of charge under the new health care law. If the IOM and HHS recommend these mandates, the conscience rights of thousands of Americans will be violated, including issuers of plans, providers who contract with such plans, and Americans who will pay for the cost of these services. The IOM should focus on items and services that prevent actual diseases, and not include controversial services just to placate the abortion industry.”