Don’t Worry NARAL, Obamacare Still Funds Abortion in Insurance

Opinion   |   Bill Saunders   |   Sep 14, 2011   |   5:30PM   |   Washington, DC

Nancy Keenan’s recent email was frantic.  The President of NARAL Pro-Choice America writes to supporters that they are “running out of time.”   Keenan is concerned that “the [new] rules [on abortion coverage] could become so complicated that insurance coverage of abortion could become virtually unavailable.”


Let’s review the facts.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) permits insurance plans that cover abortions to participate in new state Exchanges, and to even receive government subsidies through the tax-credits that participants receive.  However, the PPACA requires such plans to have two “pots” of money for premiums.  One pot, funded entirely by a portion of the premium paid by a participant in the plan or the participant’s employer, may only be used to pay for abortions.  The other pot covers everything else, and is partially funded by the government subsidies.

Ms. Keenan is right; that’s pretty complicated.


However, insurance plans that do not cover abortions (except for those in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is endangered) do not have to set up this complicated system.  It therefore makes logical sense that some insurance companies may decide to drop insurance coverage for abortion, and thereby avoid all of the mathematical and logistical confusion that the PPACA requires for abortion coverage.


Further, as part of the abortion coverage “compromise” that was reached to secure passage of the PPACA, the law permits states to “opt-out” of permitting insurance plans that cover abortions to participate in their Exchanges.  So far, 12 states have elected to do so, and more are certain to follow before the Exchanges must be operational in 2014.  (AUL has model legislation for states that wish to do so.)

Never has the difference between abortion and true “healthcare” been more starkly clear, and insurance companies may say enough is enough.  The backlash against insurance coverage of abortions has been dramatic since the enactment of the PPACA.  Eight states now prohibit nearly all private insurance coverage of abortions, with two states enacting these laws and one strengthening their existing law in 2011.  (AUL also has model legislation for states that wish to prohibit private insurance coverage of abortions.)

Abortion is not healthcare—it hurts women and ends the life of an unborn baby.  Further, when insurance covers abortion, many pro-life Americans find themselves subsidizing the practice with their insurance premiums.  Fortunately, between the complications created by the PPACA and individual state decisions to prohibit private abortion coverage, the abortion lobby’s desire for a world where an abortion is viewed and covered no differently than a routine gynecological exam is becoming less and less of a probability.