Jan 13, 2014
Four years ago, when passage or defeat of the Affordable Care Act appeared to rest in the hands of a small group of pro-life House Democrats, President Obama won their support for the health care plan with an executive order promising elective abortion wouldn’t be part of the program. Skeptics said the order wouldn’t do the trick.
They were right. The question now isn't whether the Obamacare will include abortion but how much abortion, for whom, and at whose expense.
Former Michigan representative Bart Stupak, who'd led the little band of House Democrats in negotiations with the White House, two years ago declared himself to be "perplexed and disappointed" at the violation of the executive order – and also, he added, of "statutory law" – then already beginning to take place.
Stupak, who’d chosen not to seek in 2010, was speaking in particular of the HHS Mandate – the Health and Human Services Department's rule for the implementation of Obamacare that would compel even some church-related institutions to cooperate in providing abortifacient drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees via their health plans.
Not surprisingly, the mandate has evoked heated protests from religious leaders, the Catholic bishops among them, as well as from some proprietors of commercial enterprises opposed to abortion on conscience grounds. The argument is that coercing conscience in this manner violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.