Pro-Life Leaders Demand an End to Obamacare’s Abortion Mandate

National   Steven Ertelt   May 8, 2014   |   1:48PM    Washington, DC

Rallying to support Priests for Life as the pro-life Catholic group takes on the Obamacare abortion mandate in court today, more than a dozen pro-life leaders representing groups with millions of pro-life members spoke out today against the mandate.

National Right to Life was one of the groups challenging President Barack Obama to respect Americans’ sacred, historical right to observe our most deeply held moral and political beliefs.

rallyforfreligiousfreedom7NRLC President Carol Tobias spoke at a rally outside the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., today after oral hearings in the case of Priests for Life v. Sebelius.

“At issue here today,” Mrs. Tobias said, “is whether religious institutions and organizations can be forced to provide health coverage for drugs and procedures in opposition to their religious and moral beliefs. . . The law allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate that most health plans cover any service that the Secretary places on a list of ‘preventive’ services.  There is nothing in the law to prevent the Secretary from placing abortion, assisted suicide, or any other additional services on this list.”

Mrs. Tobias continued:  “In an attempt to protect and promote abortion, Obamacare prohibits [health insurance] exchanges from telling prospective enrollees in advance about the ‘abortion surcharge’ which is the defined monthly charge for abortion coverage. This abortion surcharge is not optional – every enrollee in an abortion-covering exchange plan must pay it, including families that have moral objections to abortion. Moreover, many enrollees are having great difficulty even finding out whether these exchange plans cover elective abortion and so may be unknowingly signing up for an abortion-covering plan.

rallyforfreligiousfreedom5“Mr. President, why are you forcing millions of Americans who have a moral, conscientious objection to abortion to use their hard-earned dollars to pay for killing innocent unborn children?” Tobias asked. “Of course, we know the reason Obama is forcing Americans to pay for the killing of innocent children:  He is an ideologue on the issue, the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.  His signature health care law is also his signature affront to unborn babies and their mothers, resulting in more dead, more wounded, more needless tragedies that could be avoided.”

Tobias concluded by calling on President Obama to “stand up for the rights of the American people.  Support a change to Obamacare so that Americans do not have to pay for abortions, and rescind your mandate to force religious institutions from participating in programs to which they object!”

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest also joined pro-life legislators and leaders in front of the D.C. Court of Appeals for a news event protesting the coercive, anti-life policies in Obamacare, impacting organizations like Priests for Life, which organized the event.

rallyforfreligiousfreedom6Yoest made the following remarks: “From Day One, when the Obama Administration talked about remaking America’s health care system, Americans United for Life had one message: ‘Real Health Care Respects Life.’ And yet this Administration has intertwined anti-life policies throughout its law, making its repeal a pro-life necessity.

“This administration put ‘The Con’ in contraception, by hiding an anti-life agenda in the construction of the Affordable Care Act and forcing Americans to fund anti-life drugs mislabeled as contraception. And for that reason, Americans United for Life has filed 19 amicus curiae briefs related to the life and conscience issues raised in Obamacare.

“The thuggery exhibited in this law represents a fundamental shift in tactics by abortion advocates, moving Americans from ‘choice’ to coercion as people are forced to fund and facilitate life-ending drugs and devices or face punishing, crippling, job-killing fines.

“The pro-abortion intent of the Affordable Care Act is seen clearly in the cases in which it has chosen to use legal force.

“Consider that Hobby Lobby actually faces more debilitating fines by providing its employees with life-affirming health insurance than it would if it provided no health insurance at all. Consider that companies like Conestoga Wood and Hobby Lobby do not oppose all contraception, but filed suit because the HHS mandate forces them to provide drugs and devices mislabeled by the FDA as ‘contraception’ but are actually known to have life-ending effects.

rallyforfreligiousfreedom2“And consider that this Administration has chosen to violate the conscience rights of Americans in forcing groups like Priests for Life to violate the tenets of their faith, while granting exemptions to political allies.

“It is a complete affront to the Constitution to force private companies to violate their conscientious beliefs in order to maintain and grow their businesses. This is truly the battle of our time to protect the liberties guaranteed to us over 200 years ago. And this Constitutional conflict should come as no surprise to anyone, as AUL and others repeatedly argued for conscience rights protections while the healthcare laws were being drafted by abortion advocates.

“To be clear, abortion is woven into the healthcare law at multiple levels. The Affordable Care Act shows its anti-life bent by:

“Failing to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for abortion, abortion coverage, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

“Pretending that the Hyde Amendment protections were enough to prohibit direct payment for abortions.

“Permitting federally subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through the state insurance exchanges required in all 50 states.

“Failing to prohibit all multi-state qualified health plans from providing coverage for abortion.

“Including a “preventive care” mandate that is being used to force coverage of drugs and devices known to end life.

“Failing to provide comprehensive First Amendment conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to abortion.”