Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FRC Urges Health Advisory Panel to Protect Conscience Rights, Oppose Mandates for Abortifacients in Obamacare

/PRNewswire/ -- At a meeting today in the nation's capital of a federal advisory committee on the new health care law, Family Research Council (FRC) expressed its strong opposition to designating abortion as a means of pregnancy-prevention. The Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women is hearing comments about regulatory mandates for women's preventive services under Obamacare.

Additionally, FRC sent a letter today to U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius encouraging HHS to not recommend the inclusion of abortion or contraceptive drugs as a mandated service that all health plans would be required to cover at no cost to patients. The letter states that to do so would violate the principles of conscience rights laws.

Jeanne Monahan , FRC's Director of the Center for Human Dignity, made the following comments after addressing the second meeting for the Committee:

"The committee should not recommend the inclusion of abortion as a means of preventing pregnancy. FRC rejects any suggestion that 'abortion is healthcare' or that pregnancy is a disease. Including abortion, whether chemical or surgical, as a mandated, free-of-charge preventive care service would further expand abortion in the health care law and undermine the conscience rights of many in the health care profession.

"Additionally, several drugs have been approved by the FDA to be legally categorized as 'emergency contraceptives,' but can destroy a preborn baby before or after implantation. Any mandates including drugs such as ella would expand taxpayer funding for abortion. Inclusion of contraceptives also undermines conscience protections that President Obama promised would be maintained.

"Earlier today, we sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius urging HHS not to mandate that abortion or contraceptives be covered free of charge under the new health care law. If the IOM and HHS recommend these mandates, the conscience rights of thousands of Americans will be violated, including issuers of plans, providers who contract with such plans, and Americans who will pay for the cost of these services. The IOM should focus on items and services that prevent actual diseases, and not include controversial services just to placate the abortion industry," concluded Monahan.

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