For more than two years, conservative legal organizations like the ACLJ have said that Obamacare is about much more than a choice between individual liberty and a federal takeover of the health care industry. Recent news lends further evidence to concern that the Affordable Care Act is also about expanding access to and funding for abortion. This month, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said of the newly-released abortion funding rules for state insurance exchanges, “Abortion isn’t health care . . . Obamacare should do them no harm. Tragically, it does the worst harm of all. It kills children and makes others complicit in abortion.”
When it comes to abortion in the Affordable Care Act, the devil is in the details: You can read these new abortion coverage rules at the HHS Web site.
For years, Obamacare supporters kept telling Americans that the bill has nothing to do with abortion. President Obama himself promised that there would be no abortion funding in his signature health care legislation.
Not only were they proven wrong (the abortifacient mandate and the abortion “surcharge” are just two examples), the very fact that the abortion industry was out in full force on the steps of the Supreme Court this week is in itself telling.
These were not just some random pro-abortion protesters who wandered onto the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court because they saw some TV cameras. This was a well-organized, carefully orchestrated effort on the part of the abortion industry.
Though I was there on Day 1 and Day 2 attending the oral arguments, this is not just my limited observation.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization for Women, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health each brought scores of supporters from throughout the country to demonstrate in the nation’s capital, supplying them with T-shirts and signs and leading them in chants.
NARAL Pro-Choice America announced on its Web site that it organized efforts to join “progressive allies on steps of Supreme Court to counter repeal efforts that would take away increased access to prenatal care and contraceptive coverage [including abortifacients like the morning-after pill].” It continued:
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said her organization will mobilize its supporters to stand up for the Affordable Care Act as opponents of health reform call on the Supreme Court to overturn the law. “Since anti-choice groups and their allies have decided to take their War on Women to the Supreme Court, we are meeting them at the steps,” Keenan said.
However, after this week’s arguments at the Supreme Court, these pro-abortion organizations have cause for concern.
While Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan appeared ready to uphold the law – Justice Breyer going so far as to suggest that Congress could mandate action based on “when you are born” – the rest of the Court seemed skeptical of embracing Obamacare’s expansion of the federal government’s power.
Justice Scalia issued very strong criticism of the constitutionality of the individual mandate and followed this up stating, “My approach would say if you take the heart out of the statute, the statute’s gone.” As a surprise to some, Justice Kennedy, seen by many as a swing vote on the case, delivered some of the strongest questioning in the oral arguments. He said, Obamacare, “changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.” And when asking what should be done with the rest of the law if the Court strikes down the individual mandate, he tellingly added, “Assume there is a significant possibility of that.”
Regardless of the final decision of the Court, it is unquestionable that the outcome of Obamacare will significantly impact both the abortion industry and the fight for the lives of the unborn. Isn’t it about time to admit that the fight over Obamacare also remains a fight over abortion?
Jordan Sekulow is Executive Director of the American Center for Law & Justice and writes for On Faith’s blogging network at the Washington Post. Matthew Clark, an attorney for the ACLJ, contributed to this blog.