Coburn bill would restrict abortion in plans created by healthcare law

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced a bill Friday to ban abortion coverage in new healthcare plans created by President Obama's reform law.

The bill would restrict multistate plans selected by the Office of Personnel Management. Two multi-state policies would be available through each state's insurance exchanges, to ensure a certain level of competition among private insurers.

The healthcare law states that one multi-state plan must not cover abortion, but others can. Under Coburn's bill, abortion coverage would be prohibited in all multi-state plans, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when the life of the pregnant woman is at stake.

Coburn said in a statement that his bill would ensure that taxpayer funding for multistate plans cannot subsidize abortion coverage.

“This legislation protects the consciences of Americans who are morally opposed to paying for elective abortions,” Coburn said in a statement.  “While I support a comprehensive federal ban on taxpayer-funded coverage of elective abortions, this important legislation would ensure none of the newly-created multi-state plans forces any American to pay for elective abortions."