AUL’s Freedom of Conscience Project
Don’t be Conned: Watch the Video
10 Facts You Should Know About the Obama Administration’s Abortion-Inducing Drug Mandate
Fact 1: Nearly all Americans will pay for life-ending drugs, regardless of their moral and religious opposition to abortion
This is not the top of a slippery slope, but a deliberate step in eviscerating the freedom of conscience. Importantly, advocacy groups recognize that if they can establish legal precedent to coerce someone to violate her conscience regarding “contraceptives,” they can then easily extend that legal precedent to coerce pharmacists to dispense RU-486, to coerce medical students to participate in abortion training, and to coerce doctors to participate in surgical abortions.
Fact 4: Mandating coverage for life-ending drugs and devices is contrary to the stated intent of the Affordable Care Act’s “preventive services” provision to prevent diseases.
First, pregnancy is not a disease and it is, thus, illogical to include elective contraceptive-coverage through an amendment its author, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), noted was “strictly concerned” with preventing diseases.
Second, it is directly contrary to Senator Mikulski’s assurance that abortion would not be covered “in any way” to include abortion-inducing drugs, such as ella, in preventive care and screenings.
Third, mandated coverage for ella opens the door to off-label intended-abortion usage of the drug being funded by all health insurance plans.
Fact 5: The Institute of Medicine (IOM), tasked with advising HRSA on what should be included in the preventive services mandate, had an abortion-advocacy bias in its panel membership as well as its invited presenters
Dissenting from the IOM recommendation, committee member Dr. Anthony Lo Sasso criticized the committee’s lack of transparency and creation of an advocacy-based recommendation, “The committee process for evaluation of the evidence lacked transparency and was largely subject to the preferences of the committee’s composition. Troublingly, the process tended to result in a mix of objective and subjective determinations filtered through a lens of advocacy.”
Fact 6: Although the Obama Administration has announced it plans to address its inadequate conscience accommodation, the HHS regulation was finalized “without change” on February 10, 2012
1. Fails to protect the conscience rights of many Americans including individuals, for-profit employers, and non-religiously affiliated non-profits whose pro-life consciences are nonetheless violated.
2. Compromises conscience protection laws of several states, and
3. Violates the principles of longstanding conscience protections in federal law.
Over 2,500 church leaders from evangelical and other denominations, including pastors, church leaders and many women in ministry have expressed strong opposition to the coercive anti-life mandate.
Fact 8: More Americans oppose the mandate than support it. It is not a tiny minority that stands in opposition to the HRSA life-ending drugs and devices mandate
According to Rasmussen polling, 46 percent oppose forcing “contraceptive” coverage, while only 39 percent approve. Nor is this an issue of women versus men. Women’s opinion, according to the Rasmussen poll, was nearly evenly split. Only 40 percent of women approve, while 42 percent of women oppose the mandate. Additionally, a New York Times/CBS News poll in March 2012 showed that “Americans strongly support an exemption to the ‘birth control mandate’ by 57% to 36% for religiously-affiliated employers.”
Fact 9: The Founders of the United States believed protecting the freedom of conscience was of utmost importance
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of civil authority.” Still, the Obama Administration has announced it seeks to “balance” a core constitutional principle of “religious liberty” with its policy preference of increased “access” to life-ending drugs and devices in spite of the Founder’s intention.
Fact 10: The damage done by the mandate will be hard to counteract once the insurance market stops accommodating the freedom of conscience
With the mandate affecting plans as soon as August 2012, many pro-life Americans will be forced to pay for insurance coverage of life-ending drugs and devices against their conscientious objection. Thus, immediate action is necessary to address the inappropriate mandate.
Infographic: Covert Abortion Premium Mandate
AUL Comments to HHS
Americans United for Life has made the following comments to the Department of Health and Human Services:
interim final rule for group health plans and health insurance issuers relating to
coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act). HHS invited comments on the regulation to be
submitted on or before September 17, 2010. [Continue Reading…]
interim final rule to implement requirements in section 1101 of Title I (pertaining
to the creation of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program (PCIP
program), or “high risk pools”) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
of 2010 (Affordable Care Act). [Continue Reading…]
Memoranda on Federal Bills Responding to ACA:
• The Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act
• The Exchange and Private Insurance Coverage Prohibition Act
• The Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act of 2012
• Healthcare Freedom of Conscience Act
• Ensuring Compliance with Healthcare Freedom of Conscience Act
Articles / Op-eds / Testimony
Defending Life Articles
• Each year, AUL publishes Defending Life: A State-by-State Legal Guide to Abortion, Bioethics, and the End of Life. Click here to read Defending Life 2013 online.
• Health Care Reform and Respect for Human Life: How the Process Failed, William Saunders and Anna Franzonello
• NCBQ articles: Summer 2010; Winter 2010; Summer 2011
Key Blog Posts / Op-eds / Exhibits / Testimony
• Saunders and Novick: Defunding Obamacare Would be a Pro-life Victory but HHS Mandate Would Remain, August 1, 2013
• Saunders and Harned: 30 States Have no Opt-out Law Stopping Abortion Funding Under Obamacare, July 30, 2013
• Testimony in Opposition to Washington HB 1044, April 1, 2013
• AUL Legal Team: HHS releases “Phony Compromise” Regulations in Obamacare Feb. 4, 2013
• Planned Parenthood Exhibit 20: “Shaping” Healthcare Reform to Advance a Pro-Abortion agenda
• Harned: Taxpayer funding of abortions set to increase under Obamacare, Oct. 31, 2012.
• Harned: Did Court Provide Legal Path to Defunding Planned Parenthood? Oct. 24, 2012.
• AUL Legal Team: First Amendment Freedom of Conscience Trampled as Abortion Industry Pay-out Begins, Aug. 1, 2012.
• AUL Legal Team: Initial Analysis of Supreme Court Ruling in Healthcare, June 28, 2012
• Franzonello: “David v. Goliath”: Court Grants Preliminary Injunction to Protect Family Business Against the Obama Administration’s Conscience-Killing Mandate, July 27, 2012
• AUL Legal Team: What the Supreme Court Decision on Obamacare Means for Life, June 12, 2012
• Franzonello: Sandra Fluke’s Bait and Switch, June 11, 2012
• Franzonello: Different words, same policy, May 23, 2012
• Harned: Another State Acts to Block Public Funding for Abortion, May 7, 2012
• Franzonello: Abortion was Always Heart of Healthcare Overhaul, April 19, 2012
• McConchie and Harned: Obamacare abortion mandate withers: More states opting out of extremist liberal plan, April 11, 2012
• Harned: Confronting abortion premium mandate: Obamacare will force many to subsidize culture of death, March 28, 2012
• Franzonello: Yes, It’s Unprecedented, Feb. 28, 2012
• Saunders and Novick: Conscience Concerns Not All That’s Wrong with Obama Mandate, Feb. 2, 2012
• Saunders and Harned: No, the Affordable Care Act is Not Pro-Life, Sept. 28, 2011
• AUL Legal Team: Why the Executive Order Does Not Prevent Taxpayer Funded Abortion, March 21, 2010