21 States Cut Abortion Funding From Obamacare, Pennsylvania Should Too

Opinion   |   Maria Vitale Gallagher   |   Apr 2, 2013   |   12:06PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

I know what it’s like for a woman to struggle to support two daughters on a retail salary. I saw my mother do it for years, faced with the hardship of serving as the primary breadwinner of her family when her disabled husband could no longer work.

She sacrificed so many Sundays, so many holidays at the store, just to put lasagna on the table and a rented roof over our heads. She counted every penny—and every red cent she sent to Uncle Sam.

She did not want those hard-earned dollars to be spent on abortion.

And poll after poll shows she was hardly alone.

National public opinion polls consistently demonstrate that the vast majority of Americans—more than 60 percent—do not want public funds to pay for abortion. That includes many women—women who work too long and too hard for their money to be told by a male bureaucrat or columnist that they have to financially support the taking of an innocent human life—often a baby girl’s life–through abortion.

That is why it is so critical that the Legislature and Governor act to allow the Commonwealth to opt out of abortion funding under the health insurance exchange created by the federal health care law–which even the President now refers to as “Obamacare.” Such legislation simply confirms Pennsylvania’s long-standing policy—a policy which protects the interests of Keystone State taxpayers.

At last count, 21 other states had passed such legislation, and additional states are poised to do so. If, as opponents argue, such legislation is an “exercise in futility,” why would state legislatures across the country waste their time and energy on such legislative efforts?

They do so because taxpayers demand it.

In addition, there is a provision that was written into the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that individual states could opt out of abortion funding in the insurance exchanges. So Obamacare itself gives states this option—and plenty of states are taking advantage of it.

It’s important to note that opt-out legislation passed both the Pennsylvania House and Senate last session with bipartisan support, with the enthusiastic aid of both male and female legislators, including those of both the pro-life and pro-choice persuasion.



The House and Senate each passed its own version, so a single bill never made it to the Governor’s desk. But it was obvious there was broad-based support for the concept, crossing gender, ideological, and party lines. Why? Because, year in and year out, the public has opposed public funding of abortion, with the exceptions of rape, incest, and to preserve the life of the mother.

I see so many women who work a full shift, then jump into their ten-year-old cars so they can work their second, unpaid job, caring for children, grandchildren, or aging relatives. They are stressed and financially-strapped to the max, and the last thing they want is for the government to use their money to line the pockets of the abortion industry.

LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.