Battle for Life Taking Place in Congress and State Legislatures

By Dave Andrusko

NRLC State Legislative Director Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D.

Under the category of ‘be careful what you [pro-abortionists] wish for’…. Earlier today the House of Representatives passed the Protect Life Act, 248-173. The Act is very much needed remedy because ObamaCare is a vipers nest of ( among other things) funding streams for abortion.

The insistence of President Obama and Senate Democratic leaders that there be multiple abortion-expanding provisions almost did ObamaCare in. Remedying that major fault will be extremely difficult, so long as the presidency and the Senate are controlled by pro-abortionists. But today’s win was a necessary and important first step.

Even before the vote was taken a story ran in the Washington Post this morning under the headline, “The real abortion battle isn’t on the Hill. It’s in the states.” In the one sense–that pro-life measures can be passed now–that’s true. There are 50 state legislatures and in many of them pro-life legislation succeeded this last year.

However the headline isn’t true in many more important senses. For example, having the House securely in pro-life hands means that we can stop at least some of the Obama Administration’s pro-abortion initiatives. In addition, there are markers being laid down. How congressmen and senators vote will be remembered in 13 months.

But Sarah Kliff’s Washington Post story does remind the reader that there was an important proviso tacked onto ObamaCare that states took advantage of this pass session and more will attempt to next year.

Under “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”—ObamaCare–states are required to operate and maintain “health insurance exchanges” by 2014. However there is specific language in the PPACA that allows States to affirmatively prohibit coverage of abortions under the qualified health plans offered through the exchange.

“This is an issue that anti-choice activists have taken and run with,” Elizabeth Nash told Kliff. (Nash tracks abortion legislation for the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.) “They were encouraged by the health reform law, moved forward with full force and have been very successful.”

Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, Director of NRLC’s Department of State Legislation, agrees. “We know from past experience that when the government pays for abortion the numbers go up,” she said. “Passage of these laws preventing coverage for abortion will save a substantial number of lives. It was an important priority for National Right this year and we will continue to push for passage in those states who have yet to enact them.”

Successful in 2011 and hopefully even more successful in 2012.

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