NRLC releases affidavit detailing massive abortion problems with federal health bill supported by Ellsworth, Donnelly and Hill

October 14, 2010

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has produced a sworn affidavit, submitted today to the Ohio Elections Commission, demonstrating that the Obama health care law does in fact provide federal subsidies for elective abortion.

NRLC’s statement was filed at the request of attorneys for the Susan B. Anthony List (“SBA List”), a pro-life political action committee. On billboards posted in the Cincinnati area, and in other public utterances, officials of the SBA List have asserted that Congressman Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio, First District) “voted for taxpayer-funded abortion” when he voted to enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the Obama health care law.

At the request of the SBA List, NRLC submitted a 23-page affidavit, prepared and sworn to by veteran Federal Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, consisting of 65 numbered paragraphs, refuting Driehaus’s claims. Paragraph 15 explains that the law that Driehaus voted for “contained multiple provisions that do in fact authorize (i.e., create legal authority for) taxpayer funding of abortion, and that predictably will result in such funding in the future — unless the law itself is repealed, or unless the law is revised by a future Congress to include statutory language along the lines of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.” Paragraph 32 explains, “Some of these provisions are entirely untouched by any limitation on abortion in existing law or in the PCACA itself, and others are subject only to limitations that are temporary or contingent.”

The affidavit provides detailed discussion of four specific programs under which abortion coverage is authorized by the PPACA — the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP), the program of federal tax-based subsidies to purchase private health plans, the appropriation of $7 billion in new funding for Community Health Centers, and the section creating “multi-state” health plans to be administered by the federal Office of Personnel Management. The affidavit notes that these examples are not exhaustive.

In paragraphs 56-62, Johnson dismisses Driehaus’s reliance on Executive Order 13535 as “highly misleading,” noting, “There are no directives in the Order that apply to all, or even to most, of the provisions of the PPACA. The operative provisions that are actually contained in the Order are extremely narrow and highly qualified. . . Executive Order 13535 has the hallmarks of a primarily political document.” Johnson also notes that the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America characterized the Executive Order as “a symbolic gesture.”

NRLC attached 16 documents to the affidavit as exhibits, including a legal analysis of the abortion-related components of the law issued by the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; documentation on state PCIP plans for Pennsylvania and New Mexico that were initially approved by DHHS although they covered elective abortions; a Congressional Research Service report that confirmed that nothing in the PPACA or the Executive Order prevented the use of PPACA-authorized PCIP funds from being used for abortions; and the texts of the Stupak-Pitts and Nelson-Hatch Amendments which were proposed to prevent any part of the legislation from subsidizing abortion — but which were opposed by President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders, and which were not part of the law as enacted.

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