Planned Parenthood, Pro-Abortion Groups Back Revised Mandate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2012   |   1:55PM   |   Washington, DC

The Planned Parenthood abortion business and leading pro-abortion groups are applauding the revised mandate the Obama administration issued that will force insurance companies to provide abortion-causing drugs at no cost.

The Obama administration’s revisions to the birth control/abortion-causing drug mandate are not meeting with support from pro-life advocates, who say the president’s claims that it is a compromise that respects religious conscience issues is a sham. But leading pro-abortion groups are delighted.

The Obama administration has revised its controversial mandate that had forced religious employers to pay for health insurance coverage that includes birth control and drugs like Plan B, the morning after pill, and ella that can cause abortions.

The revised Obama mandate will make religious groups contract with insurers to offer birth control and the potentially abortion-causing drugs to women at no cost. The revised mandate will have religious employers refer women to their insurance company for coverage that still violates their moral and religious beliefs. Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide coverage at no cost.

That coverage will not only include free contraception but birth control and drugs like ella or the morning after pill that may cause abortions in some cases.

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, applauded the changes and attacked pro-life and Catholic and religious groups that opposed them and the original mandate.

“In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work,” she said. “We believe the compliance mechanism does not compromise a woman’s ability to access these critical birth control benefits.”

Richards said the abortion business would hold insurance companies accountable for meeting the mandate.

“Planned Parenthood continues to believe that those institutions who serve the broad public, employ the broad public, and receive taxpayer dollars, should be required to follow the same rules as everyone else, including providing birth control coverage and information,” she said. “As a trusted health care provider to one in five women, Planned Parenthood’s priority is increasing access to preventive health care. This birth control coverage benefit does just that. The birth control benefit underscores the fact that birth control is basic health care, and is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families.”

Richards said the abortion business has “consistently applauded the Obama administration for one of the greatest expansions” of access to abortion and birth control.

She condemned the Rubio-Manchin bill that would overturn the mandate because it “would allow any business or corporation, on the basis of personal religious belief or moral conviction, to take away birth control coverage from their employees.”

“Another bill, sponsored by Senator Blunt (R-MO), would drastically undermine women’s health and allow any employer or health plan to refuse to cover any health care service they object to on religious or moral grounds,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, also applauded the revised mandate, saying the revised Obama administration’s policy will make sure women of all faiths who work at religiously affiliated hospitals, universities, and service organizations can get contraceptive coverage.

“Today’s announcement makes it clear that President Obama is firmly committed to protecting women’s health,” Keenan said. “Unfortunately, some opponents of contraception may not be satisfied. These groups and their allies in Congress want to take away contraceptive coverage from nurses, janitors, administrative staff, and college instructors—and that agenda is out of touch with our country’s values and priorities. We will continue to fight on every front to support women’s access to birth control as politicians in Washington, D.C. try to take it away.”

Keenan also said the pro-abortion group is mobilizing against legislative attacks, including an amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to the transportation bill that is expected to be voted on as early as next week.

She called that a “far-reaching and extreme proposal.”