Speak Out Now: Pro-Lifers Must Oppose the HHS-Abortion Mandate

National   |   William Saunders and Anna Franzonello   |   Apr 2, 2013   |   11:08AM   |   Washington, DC

Only one week remains to submit comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opposing its anti-life mandate that forces private health insurance plans to cover drugs and devices with known life-ending mechanisms of action, including the abortion-inducing drug ella.

The comment period provides an important opportunity to directly address the Obama Administration about its decision to prioritize the abortion industry’s agenda at the expense of First Amendment guarantees.

Without a change to the so-called “HHS mandate,” pro-life options will be eliminated from the health insurance market. Your freedom of conscience will be compromised, unless you speak out now.

Many of you may be asking, “Didn’t I just submit a comment to HHS a few months ago?” The answer is yes, you did. (And thank you for that!) But it is important that you comment now because the Obama Administration has announced a “new” sham “accommodation.”

The silence of pro-life Americans will be counted as tacit consent to the Obama Administration’s latest iteration of its coercive, anti-life mandate.

Over at the AUL Action website, submitting a comment to HHS will take almost as little time and effort as changing your Facebook profile picture. And while social media has an important value, unlike a meme or a tweet, HHS is obligated to count, and consider, your comment.

Unfortunately, with only a week left to submit comments, pro-life Americans have been largely silent. To-date, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued in February 2013, which purportedly responds to the concerns of our previous comments, has received only 27,454 comments. That is little more than one-tenth of the comments submitted to last year’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).

What percentage of the comments oppose the NPRM’s continued failure to protect the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Conscience is unknowable. What is known is that the abortion industry has been lobbying its supporters to tell HHS to keep the coercive mandate.



It is critical that we do not give in to exhaustion and frustration, and allow our message to be overshadowed.

While HHS did not break-down the numbers of commenters in favor and against the suggestions of the ANPRM, it is safe to assume that opposition outweighed support. If the majority of commenters thought the ANPRM was a splendid idea, HHS would have said so. If the NPRM is lauded more than it is condemned, it is certain that HHS will report the divide.

The Obama Administration’s HHS may continue to not listen, and stick to its coercive policy. But they will certainly hear, and exploit, the silence of the pro-life movement.

It is time to speak out.