October 1: American taxpayers and employers go into the abortion business

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has already received more than $1 million to function as a “navigator,” i.e. signing people up for Obamacare.   The funds will go directly to Planned Parenthoods in Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia.  And that is just the beginning.
 
There are a myriad of ways that Obamacare is forcing taxpayers and employers to pay for abortion, including even late-term abortion, through policies embedded in Obamacare which make it practically impossible for the average taxpayer or employer to avoid.
 

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The Health and Human Services mandate requires that virtually all health insurance plans cover abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilization and contraception.  Employers, even religiously affiliated charities, must provide plans that included these products.  If they refuse, massive faith fines are imposed - $100 per day per employee.  No business or charity can afford such crippling fines, which is why hundreds have been forced to sue the Obama administration to maintain their freedom of religion.
 
The latest lawsuit, and one of the most compelling, comes from the Little Sisters of the Poor, nuns who have dedicated their lives to providing care for the neediest elderly.  Ironically, in the name of providing health care, Obamacare threatens to shut down this most admirable of health care providers.
 
Yet community health centers like Planned Parenthood, which is in the business of ending lives (over 300,000 pre-born babies annually), are set to receive $7 billion in funding under Obamacare, and these funds are exempt from any restrictions when it comes to abortion.
 
The long-standing Hyde Amendment forbids federal funding of abortion, but Obamacare was crafted in a Machiavellian way to circumvent this prohibition.  Instead, it is rife with loopholes which can - and are - being exploited to fund the abortion industry.
 
The latest Administration rule issued that flaunts this principle and is contrary to current law specifies that, under Obamacare, congressional staff and members of Congress will be able to participate in health plans with subsidized abortion coverage.
 
Additionally, plans that provide abortion coverage may participate in state exchanges and those plans can be federally subsidized. In this way, federal tax dollars can be used to pay for plans that cover abortion.  An analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute published this week suggests that the number of abortions that will be subsidized by American taxpayers is likely to be between 71,000 and 111,500 per year.  To put it into perspective, that is nearing about one in every ten abortions.
 
Not only does the law automatically opt-in the public to a health care system that includes life-ending drugs, devices and procedures they didn’t ask for, but it makes opting-out nearly impossible.  How’s that for freedom of choice?
 
The result of all this is that many taxpayers and employers who have deeply held beliefs about the sanctity of life, must violate their consciences – and that is unacceptable in a country that was founded on religious liberty.
 
Despite repeated appeals by Catholics and Americans of many other faiths, the Obama Administration insists on forcing a radical pro-abortion agenda on an unsuspecting public.
 
In a recent letter on the topic, Cardinal Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated, “Catholics – our parents and grandparents, religious sisters, brothers and priests – were among the first at the table to advance and provide health care, and now we are being burdened because of the same Catholic values that compel us into these ministries.”  We join him in voicing opposition to this abortion-riddled law.
 
With Obamacare, we are opening the floodgates to public funding of abortion – which science tells us stops the beating heart of a developing human being.  Polls tell us that Americans don’t want this.
 
Ferguson is senior policy adviser for The Catholic Association.