NRLC Warnings Prove Prophetic

By Dave Andrusko

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

You can tell we are getting closer and closer to election season. How? Whatever highly tenuous link there might have been between the truth and what pro-abortionists are screaming to high heaven about has been cleanly severed. And they are making the most outlandish statement not just about one or two topics, but about a whole range.

I spent all morning responding with great delight to the many emails sent in about the “best of the week” stories we ran on Saturday. (If you are not receiving National Right to Life News Today, please go to and sign up immediately)

Inspired by those words of encouragement, in other posts today we are offering further insights into the incredible argument that infanticide is perfectly acceptable, indeed almost incumbent on any nation that has legalized abortion. (Hint: under their strained interpretation, neither the unborn nor the newborn is a “person” so it’s okay to kill them.)

In this post, I’d like to pick up on a subject we talked about all last week and the week before: the Blunt Amendment which would prevent the Obama Administration from forcing virtually all employers to pay for services they regard as morally objectionable. The amendment was narrowly defeated, but that is only the first skirmish in a battle that will continue until and unless the Obama Administration backtracks and respects religious liberties (which, of course, it never will).

In the back and forth, some of the central issues at stake for people of various faiths—or no faiths—sometimes get overlooked. Let me list a couple.

First (and in some ways, foremost), this battle was launched by the Obama Administration. It cannot be stated often enough that the Blunt Amendment would have merely restored traditional conscience protections. In other words, restored the status quo. Out of his own political calculations, Obama chose this fight while, of course, blaming opponents.

Second, National Right to Life warned of the dangers when ObamaCare was under consideration in the Senate in 2009.

NRLC warned that a provision dealing with “preventive health services” would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate coverage of any medical service, including abortion, merely by adding the service to an expandable list. Predictably, the Administration issued a decree in August, 2011, that, unless overturned, will produce an irreconcilable conflict between conscience and the coercive force of government for many employers. 

The key is that in a second-term, Obama could use precisely the same loosey-goosey statutory authority to mandate that virtually all health plans pay for elective abortion on demand.

“The same twisted logic will be applied,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson at the time. “By ordering health plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and care for the baby — and under the Obama scam, if a procedure saves money, then that means that you’re not really paying for it when the government mandates it.

And it doesn’t stop at abortion. The Obama “you must pay, but nobody pays” scam might also be applied to other “cost-cutting” mandates.  Perhaps every health plan will be mandated to cover physician-assisted suicide, in states in which assisted suicide is legal.  After all, each suicide would result in a net savings to the plan, and under the Obama scam, that means it is really free and nobody really pays for it.

So in one sense it makes no difference that NRLC shouted out a prophetic warning in 2009: ObamaCare passed. In other sense it makes a huge difference going ahead.

NRLC understood this administration, not just the President who heads it, but the kinds of people he has chosen, including the head the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the militantly pro-abortion former governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius. So pay heed when NRLC says there is no reason to believe that Obama, freed of worrying about re-election, would not mandate that virtually all health plans pay for elective abortion on demand.

Third, and finally, it is not as though this is the only vast discretionary power ObamaCare affords to the federal bureaucracy. Last week we wrote about a lopsided vote by the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee. By a 17-5 vote, the subcommittee recommended repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)–one of the principal mechanisms by which  the ObamaCare would limit access to life-saving medical treatment.

“The IPAB would recommend drastic limits for the Department of Health and Human Services to impose on what Americans are allowed to spend out of their own funds to save their own lives and the lives of their families,” said Burke Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics.  “Repeal of the IPAB is critical to prevent the rationing of life-saving medical treatment.”

Coming full circle, Senate Democrats (with three exceptions) took refuge in the distortion that the Blunt Amendment banned something. It “banned” nothing, it restored something: the recognition of religious liberties.

Over the weekend a Wall Street Journal editorial hit it right on the head:

“The fact that Democrats don’t dare to accurately describe their own positions, or the regulations that they want to foist on everyone else, shows how extreme those positions and regulations really are.”

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