Family Has to Choose Between Paying Obamacare Mandate or Funding Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2014   |   12:10PM   |   Washington, DC

A pro-life leader and his family are losing their health plan due to Obamacare filed suit in federal court last month. The family is suing because they are now being forced on to the state’s health insurance exchange, which only offers plans that require them to pay for other people’s abortions.

Barth and Abbie Bracy (pictured with their family on a trip right) have insurance through a private insurer, but Obamacare has forced the insurer to cancel the policy effective later this year. Now being forced on to the Obamacare exchange, the Bracys are left only with plans that include a mandatory surcharge used to fund the elective abortions of others. Ironically, Barth Bracy is executive director of The Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee and has warned people of exactly the problems his family is now facing.

bracyfamilyThe lawsuit also challenges secrecy clauses within Obamacare which forbid Americans from being told prior to enrollment whether the plans they would purchase on an exchange will include abortion coverage. The clauses also forbid Americans from being told how much of the premium is a federally mandated abortion surcharge that pays for other people’s elective abortions.

The Daily Signal has more on the story today:

Like many other Americans, the Bracys thought they could trust the president’s promise that if they liked their current health plan, they could keep it. But just a few months after the roll-out of the expansive healthcare law, the Bracys’ insurance company cancelled their policy.

Now, Barth and Abbie will have to look for health insurance on the Obamacare exchange in their home state of Connecticut to avoid fines under the individual mandate. At the moment, it appears all Connecticut exchange plans would require the Bracys to pay an extra premium to cover other people’s elective abortions.

Under Obamacare, individuals who enroll in any exchange plan that covers elective abortion will be forced to pay a surcharge of at least $12 per year – and possibly much more – used solely to pay for abortion procedures. In some states, families and individuals will be able to find abortion-free exchange plans. In other states, such as Connecticut, families may only have the option of enrolling in a plan with abortion coverage and paying the mandatory abortion surcharge.

Worse, many individuals and families who otherwise would object to paying for abortion coverage may not even be aware of the additional charge. Obamacare regulations allow insurers to disclose the existence and amount of the abortion surcharge only at the time of enrollment. That warning may be as little as a single sentence in a massive plan document.

As Catholics who believe human life begins at conception, being forced to fund elective abortions is an untenable affront to the Bracy family’s religious freedom.

That’s why the Bracys have filed a lawsuit in federal court over the abortion surcharge, claiming the lack of transparency about abortion in Connecticut’s exchange, coupled with the mandatory abortion surcharge, is trampling on the family’s conscience rights.

“No one should be forced to pay for other people’s abortions,” added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “In America, we don’t separate what people do from what they believe, and that’s why Obamacare’s attack on the freedoms of Americans must stop.”

“Through the Affordable Care Act, the government has required the Bracys to purchase a certain type of government-approved health insurance or pay burdensome fines for their refusal…,” the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut states. “[T]he Bracys must also pay a separate fee to be used solely to pay for elective abortions for others. The Bracys are devout Catholics; Barth Bracy is an ordained deacon and a former missionary. The Bracys are deeply pro-life and object to being forced to pay for procedures that kill innocent human beings….”

The complaint in Bracy v. Sebelius also explains that federal government agencies and officials “exacerbate these constitutional violations by prohibiting insurers on the exchanges and exchange officials from providing the Bracys or any other Americans with truthful information about abortion coverage in the plans they offer or the amount of the premiums that the issuers will collect from enrollees to be expressly and exclusively used to pay for elective abortions.”