Insurance Exchanges Will Pay for Abortions in Obamacare, Pro-Life Advocates Say

By Penny Starr | March 22, 2012 | 1:02pm EDT

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) speaks outside the capitol on Feb. 21, 2012 about how the Obama health care law will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Smith is joined by other pro-life lawmakers and activists, including, from left, Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.). ( Starr)

( – With the release of details on the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, critics of the law say a federal tax credit will allow money to be used to pay for abortions.

“Taxpayer subsidies in the form of what’s called refundable, advanceable credits paid directly to the insurance companies – that is to say taxpayer funds – will subside insurance plans offered on the exchange that include abortion on demand, even late-term abortion,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Smith said the rule, released last week by Health and Human Services, bypasses the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of federal funding for abortions in appropriations – despite Obama’s 2010 executive order stating the amendment would stand.

“The president would like the American public to believe that his health care does not subsidize and facilitate the preventable tragedy of abortion, but sadly his actions paint quite a different picture,” said Smith, who is chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.

“The mass deception of the Obama 2010 executive order was finally exposed,” Smith said.

In that order, Obama said, “The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges.”

But Smith, and a large group of pro-life lawmakers and organizations, including the Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life Committee and Citizens United for Life, say that the tax credit will be paid for with a small surcharge people or businesses enrolled in federal health insurance exchanges will pay as part of their monthly premium.

“This not only promotes abortion, it forces every American in these health care exchanges to pay for abortion whether that violates your conscience, and your morality and your relationship with God or not,” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said at the press conference.

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"The unfortunate reality has become when the Obama administration disagrees with certain policies - especially when it comes to abortion - they use tricky accounting gimmicks to force their way, even when it bypasses law,” Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, said at the press conference.

The speakers also said that the new HHS rule is just the latest in the president’s ongoing efforts to promote abortion as health care.

“Abortion is not health care,” Smith said. “There’s nothing whatsoever benign or compassionate or nurturing about brutally taking the life of an unborn child through dismemberment or chemical poisoning – the methods of abortion.”

“It’s a sad thing to have to say, but as if any more proof were needed, this is one more evidence that Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion president in the history of our country,” Lamborn said.

The lawmakers said they hope to combat the law through legislation, but three bills passed in the House have either been defeated in the Senate or have not been acted on.

Those bills include HR 2 to repeal Obamacare (defeated by the Senate on a 245-189 vote), the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Protect Life Act (both not acted on).

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