Alabama Senate Votes to Not Fund Abortions Under Obamacare

State   Steven Ertelt   May 24, 2011   |   3:23PM    Montgomery, AL

The Alabama state Senate voted today for a bill that would have it join several other states in opting out of funding abortions under the Obamacare health care law the president and his Democratic allies approved.

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.

Republican Sen. Greg Reed of Jasper sponsored the bill, SB 202, that received a 25-7 vote and now it goes to the state House, where supporters say they believe it will be approved as well. Reed said, according to AP, that he sponsored the bill so he could “stand for the unborn child.”

“We never stand so tall as when we are standing in defense of the unborn child,” he said. “No work that we are going to do in this body that I am more passionate about or more important than to limit abortion in Alabama.”

Denise Burke, an attorney with Americans United for Life, has explained the opt out clause contained in the Obamacare bill, which otherwise fails to contain sufficient limits on abortion funding.

“Specifically, the new law prohibits health insurers participating in the state-run health insurance exchange (scheduled to go into effect in 2014) from offering plans or policies that cover abortions except in rare cases in which the mother’s life is in danger,” she said.

Alabama Citizens for Life strongly supported the measure and its director, Cheryl Ciamarra, told LifeNews, “Many groups are opposed to the multiple mechanisms for funding abortion in the Affordable Health Care Act pushed through by President Obama. Alabama Citizens for Life is delighted this measure is moving forward to the Alabama House, hopefully in time for passage by that body into law.”

So far, 12 states have approved legislation opting out of the Obamacare abortion funding, including Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. Governors in Oklahoma and Florida vetoed similar legislation.

“Hopefully today’s passage of this landmark legislation will be the beginning of many more measures passed by the AL Legislature to become law to protect innocent human life,” said Bill Klein of Alabama Citizens for Life.