House Bill 818 simply safeguards Pennsylvania’s long-standing policy against tax funding of abortion—a policy which works, and which is supported by the vast majority of taxpayers.
A Quinnipiac poll shows that more than 70 percent of Americans oppose public funding of abortion under the federal health care law. More specifically, in the same poll, 70 percent of American women opposed such abortion funding.
The bill is about only one thing: ensuring that Pennsylvania continues its long-standing policy against taxpayer funding of abortion. Twenty-one other states have passed similar legislation and signed it into law, and other states are expected to follow suit.
If HB 818 is not passed by the PA House and Senate and signed by the Governor, starting next year, Pennsylvania taxpayers will be paying for abortions under the health insurance exchange created by the federal health care law—radically reversing Pennsylvania’s decades-old policy against tax-funded abortions.
The Pennsylvania House and Senate must pass an opt-out bill before January 1, 2014, or public funding of abortion will happen in Pennsylvania.
But some people have asked how that is possible. Doesn’t the Hyde Amendment prohibit government funding of abortions?
The simple answer is no, not under the federal health care law.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, explains in more detail:
“In reality, the Hyde Amendment is not a government-wide law — it applies only to funds appropriated through the annual appropriations bill that funds the Department of Health and Human Services. As National Right to Life has pointed out … and as the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service confirmed in two memoranda …, none of the funds that would be expended by the public plan, and none of the funds that will subsidize the purchase of private insurance plans, will ever flow through an HHS appropriations bill. Therefore, none of the funds will be covered by the Hyde Amendment.”
FactCheck.org also wrote an article calling out President Obama in 2009 for his false claim that there will not be government funding of abortion in the health care law.
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This is why opt-out legislation must be passed in Pennsylvania. Please check out our legislative director’s excellent column on The Patriot-News to learn more about this important legislation.
Call your state rep NOW and urge a yes vote on HB 818! To find out contact info for your state lawmaker, call us at 717-541-0034.
LifeNews Note: Micaiah Bilger is the Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.