National Right to Life Applauds Trump/HHS Announcement on Religious Liberty; Abortion-Covering Health Plans


WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released a bulletin through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reiterating that qualified health plan issuers must segregate collected premiums to pay for abortion coverage; that enrollees be informed if abortions are covered by a qualified health plan; and that HHS intends to fully enforce these requirements as a step toward ensuring that federal tax dollars are not used to subsidize coverage for elective abortion.

A 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided dismaying confirmation of earlier predictions by National Right to Life that federally subsidized abortion coverage would become a widespread feature of Obamacare. The report found that more than one thousand federally subsidized exchange plans covered elective abortion. The GAO findings validated previous charges by National Right to Life that the federal taxpayer is subsidizing the purchase of abortion-covering plans on a massive scale.

“While only comprehensive legislative reform can cure the multiple abortion-expanding components of Obamacare, today’s guidance from the Trump Administration takes a good first step to keep the federal government out of the business of paying for abortion until Obamacare can be replaced,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., National Right to Life legislative director.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added, “We applaud President Trump and his administration for enforcing the law and seeking to uphold the principles of the Hyde Amendment to prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion coverage.” 

Additionally, HHS announced interim final rule changes to the Affordable Care Act and HHS coverage mandate that would protect moral and religious rights of conscience.

“Rights of conscience are extremely important to the right-to-life movement to protect medical professionals, religious institutions and employers from being forced to participate in abortion,” said Tobias. “We commend President Trump for keeping his campaign promises by supporting these rights of conscience. These rule changes will help promote a policy that protects pro-life rights of conscience with regard to abortion.”

Under President Obama’s administration, pro-abortion forces not only put increasing pressure on health care providers to violate their moral convictions with regard to abortion, but also backed efforts to force employers, including religious institutions and organizations that object to abortion, to cover abortion in their insurance plans.

 “No one should be forced to participate in abortion against their religious or moral convictions,” Tobias said.

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.