In recent weeks there have been reports about an abortion surcharge contained within President Obama’s signature healthcare law. Pro-abortion activists have been desperate to shove the issue under the carpet. They know full well public outrage will ensue if the law’s hidden agenda is fully exposed to the American people in broad daylight.
Many pro-abortion bloggers and members of the media have tried to hide the reality of the “abortion premium mandate”—a provision actually contained within Obamacare. But it’s imperative that you fully understand the facts they’re trying to hide.
Here’s how the provision essentially works: An individual enrolled in an insurance plan that covers abortions through an employer, by choice or even unknowingly, must pay an added abortion surcharge of one dollar per month. With no choice of opting out of the plan, paying for this abortion coverage is imposed whether an individual wants to or not.
This amounts to you and I being forced to take twelve dollars a year to the local Planned Parenthood or other abortion mill, place the money in the blood-stained hands of the abortionist and say, “This is to help fund the killing of innocent unborn babies.”
Obamacare even contains a clause that prevents insurance plans from letting people know about the required abortion surcharge. You won’t be notified that you’re paying into a plan that covers abortion until your time of enrollment. By then, in most cases, it’ll be too late. It’s sinister government secrecy—a bureaucratic sleight of hand—that will result in wholesale abortion-on-demand provided by the government.
Take a look at the text of the law for yourself:
(3) RULES RELATING TO NOTICE—(A) NOTICE—A qualified health plan that provides for coverage of [abortions other than in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother] . . . shall provide a notice to enrollees, only as part of the summary of benefits and coverage explanation, at the time of enrollment, of such coverage.
(B) RULES RELATING TO PAYMENTS—The notice described in subparagraph (A), any advertising used by the issuer with respect to the plan, any information provided by the Exchange, and any other information specified by the Secretary shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments for [abortions other than in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother] (emphasis added).
Why would the law include such wording unless they didn’t want Americans to know what they’re buying until it’s too late?
In addition to a finalized HHS rule that requires coverage for abortifacient drugs, this is yet another wave of assault against the pro-life community and your religious freedoms by the pro-abortion Obama administration.
CNSNews.com reports that the final regulation “provides no accommodations at all for individual Catholics and other Christians who morally object to the mandate.”
In addition, the Obama administration’s last word on the matter makes no accommodations for private for-profit employers who morally object to the mandate. The regulation means that individuals will be forced to obtain coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortifacients, whether or not they want that coverage and even if it requires them to act against their religious or personal beliefs.
In response to the announcement, the Cardinal Newman Society released the following statement:
The Obama administration today issued the final rule implementing its mandate that most religious groups must provide insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception (including drugs that cause abortion). This includes many Catholic schools and nearly all Catholic colleges.
Our legal advisors believe that the rule gives no ground on the mandate, ignoring the pleas and demands of thousands of Catholic educators, bishops, priests, healthcare leaders, charity leaders and allies with a variety of religious beliefs.
As expected, the rule appears to implement the Administration’s promised false “accommodation,” which does not respect the religious freedom of religious employers, but simply pretends that coverage of sterilization, contraception and abortion will be paid by the insurance companies’ other clients instead of the religious organization. The mandate goes into effect for objecting religious organizations on January 1, 2014—when Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, whose own immaculate conception foreshadowed her miraculous conception and motherhood of God. What a terrible, terrible irony!
After years of false promises to heed the complaints and resolve the dozens of lawsuits—many of them filed by faithful Catholic colleges, including the very first suit—the Administration has finally chosen to stand firmly opposed to religious freedom and the dignity of human life. That direction has been apparent since President Obama’s notorious commencement address at the University of Notre Dame four years ago, when he basked in the honor of a major Catholic university even while standing firmly for the Culture of Death.
According to the rule, only churches themselves are exempt from the requirements, while church-run institutions and organizations that serve others, such as hospitals and schools, are not.
Religious institutions have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services claims that insurers will not face additional costs for covering contraceptives, since it is the Obama administration’s belief that birth control will cut down on costs associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Insurers and pharmacists, however, have challenged that claim.
After a flood of complaints about the mandate from churches and religious groups, the Obama administration issued an “accommodation” which states that insurance issuers will be required to directly “provide payments for contraceptive services” purchased by women working for religious employers who oppose such products.
In addition, self-insured religious employers will work with a third party administrator, who, in the view of the Obama administration, will essentially act to provide “moral cover” to the religious employer by providing or arranging for free contraception and abortion drugs for employees.
Six Things Everyone Should Know About The HHS Mandate
1. The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. These institutions are vital to the mission of the Church, but HHS does not deem them “religious employers” worthy of conscience protection, because they do not “serve primarily persons who share the[ir] religious tenets.”HHS denies these organizations religious freedom precisely because their purpose is to serve the common good of society—a purpose that government should encourage, not punish.
2. The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral. Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers to write policies that violate their beliefs;forces religious employers and schools to sponsor and subsidize coverage that violates their beliefs; and forces religious employees and students to purchase coverage that violates their beliefs.
3. The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception. Though commonly called the “contraceptive mandate,” HHS’s mandate also forces employers to sponsor and subsidize coverage of sterilization.And by including all drugs approved by the FDA for use as contraceptives, the HHS mandate includes drugs that can induce abortion, such as “Ella,” a close cousin of the abortion pill RU-486.
4. Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate Catholics who have long supported this Administration and its healthcare policies have publicly criticized HHS’s decision, including columnists E.J. Dionne, Mark Shields, and Michael Sean Winters; college presidents Father John Jenkins. and Arturo Chavez; and Daughter of Charity Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
5. Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate. Many recognize this as an assault on the broader principle of religious liberty, even if they disagree with the Church on the underlying moral question.For example, Protestant Christian, Orthodox Christian, and Orthodox Jewish.groups–none of which oppose contraception–have issued statements against the HHS’s decision.The Washington Post, USA Today, N.Y. Daily News, Detroit News, and other secular outlets, columnists, and bloggers.have editorialized against it.
6. The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates. HHS chose the narrowest state-level religious exemption as the model for its own.That exemption was drafted by the ACLU and exists in only 3 states (New York, California, Oregon).Even without a religious exemption, religious employers can already avoid the contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their prescription drug coverage, dropping that coverage altogether, or opting for regulation under a federal law (ERISA) that pre-empts state law. The HHS mandate closes off all these avenues of relief.
Resources for More Information
- Stand Up for Religious Freedom’s one-page HHS Mandate Fact Sheet [PDF]
- Stand Up for Religious Freedom’s HHS Mandate Q and A [PDF]
- Alliance Defense Fund’s “Obamacare and its Mandates Fact Sheet” [PDF]
- U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Resources on the Mandate
- Stop the HHS Mandate—Ave Maria Radio
- Catholic Vote’s list of bishops and institutions opposing the HHS Mandate
- Letter Signed by Robert George and other public intellectuals against the HHS Mandate (at CatholicVote)
- Wall Street Journal article: “GOP backs moral conviction waiver for all insurance coverage”