By Susan T. Muskett, J.D., Senior Legislative Counsel
Planned Parenthood’s upcoming campaign to mobilize support among women for ObamaCare and its congressional backers should not leave out these ten key pro-abortion features of ObamaCare. Since Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, fought tooth-and-nail against the National Right to Life Committee, the Catholic bishops, and others, to make ObamaCare the abortion industry’s boondoggle that it is, it would seem that Planned Parenthood would be shouting these ObamaCare particulars from the rooftops.
#1. America’s women should be told that a common feature of ObamaCare Exchange plans is narrow networks in which consumers have fewer choices of doctors and hospitals (as even the New York Times has come to recognize), and yet, these narrower networks may still include Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. That’s because ObamaCare requires Exchange health plans to contract with a certain percentage of “essential community providers,” which include clinics that receive Title X family planning funds, such as Planned Parenthood clinics. The Obama administration has designated over 580 local Planned Parenthood centers as “essential community providers.” Many of these also just happen to be abortion clinics. So a woman may find that her child’s specialist is not in the plan’s narrow network, but the local abortion clinic is. (An “Exchange” is a marketplace for the purchase of health insurance. ObamaCare requires an Exchange to be established in every state).
#2. Most Americans don’t want elective abortion to be covered in their health insurance plan, but good luck trying to determine which ObamaCare Exchange plans don’t cover elective abortion. On three different occasions, members of Congress brought to the attention of then-Secretary Sebelius that consumers are having great difficulty determining whether or not Exchange plans cover abortion. Even though HHS administers the federal Exchange website for 36 states, and has supervisory authority over the other Exchanges, HHS has still taken no action to resolve this problem.
#3. If a woman lives in certain states, like Connecticut and Rhode Island, she will have no option; every ObamaCare plan in her Exchange covers abortion. This means that if she views abortion as morally wrong, like the vast majority of Americans, she may have to choose between forgoing generous federal premium subsidies (which can only be used to purchase a plan in an ObamaCare Exchange) or due to her family’s budget constraints, use the subsidies to purchase an ObamaCare Exchange plan that funds a procedure that violates her deepest core beliefs as a human and as a woman.
#4. If a woman enrolls in an ObamaCare Exchange plan that covers elective abortion (which may be unbeknownst to her due to #2 above), a portion of her premium will be placed into a separate account to be used exclusively for elective abortions (dubbed the “abortion surcharge”). This abortion surcharge is not optional; every enrollee in the plan must pay it, including women that have moral objections to abortion.
#5. Many women do not want an abortion provider teaching their child about human sexuality (as evidence of this, the Louisiana legislature recently passed legislation barring abortion providers from instructing children on human sexuality in public schools). Mothers should be told that ObamaCare established a new program for comprehensive sex education (with the acronym, PREP) and that millions of dollars in ObamaCare PREP funds have been awarded to affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America.
#6. Women should also be told that under ObamaCare, massive federal premium subsidies will flow to Exchange plans that cover all abortions (a sharp departure from the longstanding policy of the Hyde Amendment). As a result, the federal government will be helping uninsured individuals purchase plans that cover abortion, and in turn, Planned Parenthood stands to benefit because the abortion will be paid for by insurance, a reliable source of payment. (Note, this particular concern does not apply to the twenty-five states that have enacted laws to prevent Exchange-participating insurance plans from covering abortions.)
#7. Women should be told that even if they live in one of the twenty-five states that have enacted laws preventing Exchange insurance plans from covering elective abortion, as a taxpayer they will still be subsidizing the purchase of abortion-covering health plans in the other 25 states and the District of Columbia, which have not passed such laws.
#8. While half of physicians give ObamaCare an overall grade of either “F” or “D,” according to a 2013 survey, and there are frequent reports of physicians considering retiring early due to ObamaCare, Planned Parenthood is gearing up for growth, with clinics across the country eagerly anticipating a new influx of business. “This new surge of thousands of people becoming insured is going to bring a lot of new clients to Planned Parenthood,” said Brigid Leahy, director of government relations at Planned Parenthood of Illinois, according to the Medill Reports. Planned Parenthood’s CEO of New York’s Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes told the Ithaca Times last November that “as ‘Obama Care’ expands insurance coverage we expect it to help grow our organization.”
#9. Women should be told that the U.S. Congress annually bans the slaughter of horses, but that under a new ObamaCare program the federal government is administering multi-state plans that pay for the slaughter of unborn babies by way of elective abortion.
#10. Lastly, as Planned Parenthood contacts women about ObamaCare, it should be sure to tell the Catholic women among them of the key role that Planned Parenthood has played in support of the HHS Mandate that has forced these women’s beloved Catholic Church to bring suit to protect its right of conscience. It should tell the Southern Baptist women of how an arm of the Southern Baptist has likewise been forced to bring suit. It should tell the women business owners of how Planned Parenthood actively opposes Hobby Lobby’s assertion of its rights of conscience.
America’s women should be told about all ten of these ObamaCare features. They would want to know.