Pennsylvania Pro-Lifers Seek Vote to Stop Obamacare Abortion Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 17, 2012   |   1:44PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

In Pennsylvania, pro-life advocates are looking to a leader in the state House to bring up a bill for a vote that would protect taxpayers by ensuring that, if Obamacare is fully implemented, it will not fund abortions.

Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, is asking pro-life advocates in the Keystone State to call quickly and make it known they want a vote on the legislation.

“We urgently need you to call Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s office and urge him to put Senate Bill 3 up for a vote,” she said. “This common sense measure, which has already passed the Pennsylvania Senate, would allow Pennsylvania to opt out of abortion funding under President Obama’s so-called health care reform law.”

Gallagher said the state House did pass HB 1977, which would have accomplished the same goal, but the House and Senate must come to agreement on a single bill to send to the Governor.

“The House did pass HB 1977, which would have accomplished the same goal, but the House and Senate must come to agreement on a single bill to send to the Governor,” Gallagher explained. “Governor Tom Corbett has also pledged to sign SB 3 into law if it comes to his desk.”

“Thank you so much for making these critical calls!  We know that the number of abortions skyrocket when there is taxpayer funding of abortion, so we need to pass Senate Bill 3 to save countless lives,” she said.

The Obamacare legislation requires state health insurance exchanges created under the legislation to cover abortions, but the law allows states to opt out of requiring abortion coverage. The ban extends to the state exchanges the Obamacare legislation would set up because the funding for abortions would come at taxpayer expense through the exchanges, which would be funded with federal subsidies.

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.

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.

Pennsylvania became the first state to attempt to fund abortions under Obamacare last July when it announced the Obama Administration announced it would give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program but Pennsylvania officials  quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion then-Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.

The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.

“The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told at the time.

New Mexico and Maryland also tried to fund abortions through the program until National Right to Life blew the whistle and the Obama administration was forced to back down.

When Congress passed the government-run health care bill, it did so without any limits on abortion funding and language mandating taxpayer financing of abortion in certain circumstances.



Obama eventually issued a controversial executive order supposedly taking the abortion funding issue off the table.

However, virtually every pro-life group said it would not mitigate the abortion funding because it doesn’t have the effect of law, could be reversed in the future, and because it didn’t tackle much of the abortion funding in the bill. The Obama administration could also ignore the order and not put it in place when the health care law goes into effect.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that 67 percent of the Americans surveyed opposed funding abortion with federal funds under the health care law.

ACTION ITEM: Call State Representative Mike Turzai’s office at 717-772-9943 with this message:  “I urge Representative Turzai to put Senate Bill 3 up for a vote.  I don’t want my tax money to be spent on abortion under the federal health care law.”