Pennsylvania OKs Bill to Stop Abortion Funding in Obamacare

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 15, 2013   |   6:37PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania gave pro-life advocates some good news today when they voted for House Bill 818, which would ensure that Pennsylvania opts out of abortion funding under the health insurance exchange created by the federal health care law, also known as Obamacare.

From a report:

The Health Committee voted 15-9 in favor of the proposal that provides exceptions only for victims of rape and incest or when the mother’s life is in peril. One Democrat voted for it.

A Democratic sponsored amendment that would have added an exception for the mother’s health was defeated along party lines.

Committee chairman Matt Baker, R-Bradford, said the health exception would represent a substantial change from the state’s longstanding public policy that does not permit public funding of abortions under most circumstances.

He said the health exception amendment was too vague, as doctors’ “good faith clinical judgment” can be a subjective matter.

“I do not believe health care should include killing babies,” Baker said, drawing applause from some of his fellow GOP lawmakers. He argued the exchange will be supported with public money.

Last week, a similar bill got a positive vote in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. Legislation on the same topic passed both chambers during the last two-year legislative session but died when the House and Senate were unable to resolve differences.

Now that the bill is reported out of committee, it can now go to the full Pennsylvania House for a vote.



The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation supports the measure.

“The Affordable Care Act, also known as the federal health care law, contains a provision which allows states to opt out of abortion funding in the new health insurance exchanges operating in their state as a result of “health care reform.”  Twenty-one states have already passed legislation to opt out of this abortion funding,” it says.

The pro-life group continued: “House Bill 818 simply continues Pennsylvania’s long-standing policy of banning public funding of abortion.  National public opinion polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.  Research has also shown that abortion rates rise dramatically when public funding of abortion occurs.”