Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Connecticut pro-life family filed a motion for preliminary injunction in federal court Thursday seeking to prevent Obamacare abortion surcharges and fines from being enforced against the family. In May, the family filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration because their current health plan will be cancelled in November, forcing them into the state’s health insurance exchange where every plan requires them to directly pay for other people’s abortions. If the Bracys do not comply, they will be subject to crippling fines.
Federal law forbids taxpayer subsidies for elective abortions. However, the Affordable Care Act requires that every plan that includes abortion offered on any Obamacare exchange must collect a separate fee used exclusively to pay for abortions. This abortion surcharge is not listed in the premium but is instead added in to the total premium. The Connecticut state health exchange only offers plans that include abortion coverage, and thus every plan on the exchange requires this abortion surcharge. Consequently, the Bracy family has two options: violate their conscience and faith by personally subsidizing the abortions of others or be penalized with steep fines.
People seeking coverage on the exchanges in Hawaii, Illinois New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming may face the same dilemma.
“With Obamacare, if you like your current plan, you can’t always keep it, and you may be forced to pay for other people’s abortions in your new plan,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “Neither the Constitution nor federal and state law allow for this type of government coercion. The Obama administration may not value constitutionally protected freedoms, but both federal and state law do. We are asking the court to stop Obamacare from violating this family’s rights.”
“No one should be forced to pay for other people’s abortions,” added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “In America, the government is forbidden from strong-arming citizens into participating in acts that violate of our deepest convictions. But coercion is a feature of Obamacare, so it must be stopped.”
Barth and Abbie Bracy had insurance through a private insurer until Obamacare forced the company to cancel the policy. Forced on to the Connecticut Obamacare exchange, the Bracys discovered that every plan offered there included a mandatory surcharge that is used to fund the elective abortions. 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. The 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 and thus require an abortion surcharge.
Michael DePrimo, one of more than 2,400 attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, is serving as local counsel on behalf of the Bracys.