Washington D.C., Nov 2, 2013 / 04:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life leaders are calling for transparency in the health care exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, asking that they include an open acknowledgement of whether each individual plan funds abortion.
“Abortions are covered” under the health care law, and “taxpayers are going to be funding it,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, at an Oct. 31 rally in front of the U.S. Capitol.
“But what’s really interesting is the secretary (of Health and Human Services) herself wrote a memo this April demanding that all insurance providers cover Planned Parenthood and their services in the health insurance exchanges,” she continued.
Participants in the demonstration, hosted by Students for Life of America and the Christian Defense Coalition, protested against new regulations governing health care plans, including those offered on the health care exchanges.
Established under the Affordable Care Act, the health care exchanges opened Oct. 1 and allow individuals to compare and purchase different health care plans, even across state lines.
However, although the Obama administration had assured citizens during deliberations over the health care law that the Affordable Care Act would not fund abortions, some of the federally-funded exchange plans include a mandatory monthly abortion surcharge.
This inclusion has been controversial and drawn criticism from pro-life groups. The U.S. bishops, although they had long advocated for health care reform, ultimately declined to support the Affordable Care Act, due to concerns over abortion funding and conscience rights.
Pro-life advocates have also criticized the exchanges for the lack of information available to consumers about exactly which plans include the abortion-funding charge.
Asked during an Oct. 30 hearing whether she could guarantee that abortion funding would be clearly labeled in health care plans in which it is included, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius replied, “I don’t know.”
Those at Thursday’s protest demanded that Congress stop funding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion vendor. They highlighted that the organization will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money when key parts of the Affordable Care Act go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
In honor of the 915 preborn babies aborted by Planned Parenthood every day, 915 pink crosses were placed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before and after the demonstration.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Prolife Caucus, described Sebelius’ inability to answer the question about abortion (Read More)