Affordable Care Act the Greatest Expansion of Abortion Since Roe

Opinion   |   Bill Saunders and Mary Novick   |   Mar 29, 2012   |   5:25PM   |   Washington, DC

After three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the observers inside the court room were able to gauge the level of skepticism on the part of the Justices over whether the Act can pass constitutional muster. The pundits have noted that the law is in trouble.

We will not know the final outcome until June, but what we have heard so far is good news because of a sometimes overlooked but very important fact: the ACA is the greatest expansion on abortion since Roe v. Wade (And this time – because the protections of the Hyde Amendment do not apply – abortion coverage is subsidized with your tax dollars and, for many of you, through your health insurance premiums.)

There are numerous ways that the ACA expands abortion.

The first way is through the state health care Exchanges required under ACA. There are two distinct problems with the state Exchanges. Firstly, the Act will permit health insurance plans that provide abortion coverage to participate in the state Exchanges. This means that health insurance plans that provide coverage for abortion services will be federally subsidized with your tax dollars.

Secondly, in order to give the perception that the federal government is not paying for the abortions, the Act requires that EVERY enrollee in plans that cover abortion—regardless of his or her sincerely held religious or moral convictions—must pay a separate insurance premium that will be pooled and used to pay for abortion services for other enrollees. The “abortion premium mandate” and the federal subsidization of health insurance plans that cover abortion expand the government’s involvement in abortion coverage beyond anything that we have seen before.

The “preventive care” mandate in the ACA is also a great expansion of abortion because it is being used to require nearly every health insurance plan to pay for coverage for all FDA approved “contraceptives” without co-pay. This includes drugs with known life-ending mechanisms of action—including the abortion inducing drug ella.

Further, the ACA does not comprehensively prohibit the funding of abortion with the federal tax dollars that are authorized by and appropriated through the Act. This is a loop-hole that several states tried to exploit when they sought funding for abortion by including it in their “high-risk” insurance pool proposals. Once these attempts were exposed by pro-life groups, the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations to prohibit abortion coverage through the pools. However, the White House was clear that these restrictions did not set a precedent for restrictions on abortion for other ACA programs. And, since there is no express prohibition on funding of abortion in the Act, there is nothing to stop states, pro-abortion groups, or the Obama Administration from trying to exploit other loop-holes.

There are a number of outcomes that are possible when the Supreme Court rules in this case. However, it will take a decision to repeal the law fully in order to protect Americans from the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

LifeNews Note:  Bill Saunders is an AUL attorney and LifeNews blogger, Mary Novick is an AUL paralegal.