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Administration Reiterates That No Federal Funds Will Be Used for Abortion

by Staff
July 21, 2010
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WASHINGTON, ( -- Following the announcement that Pennsylvania will receive $160 million to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions are able to get health insurance under the new health care law, the National Right to Life Committee accused President Obama of allowing public funds to be used for abortion. The Administration quickly responded to inquiries from Democrats for Life of America and pro-life Democratic Congressional leaders to make clear that this will not be the case.

HHS Spokeswoman Jenny Backus stated, "As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President's related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.

Our policy is the same for both state and federally-run PCIP programs. We will reiterate this policy in guidance to those running the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan at both the state and federal levels. The contracts to operate the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan include a requirement to follow all federal laws and guidance."

The State of Pennsylvania is one of the first states to be awarded funds to set up a high-risk insurance pool. The pool will ensure that individuals with pre-existing conditions or other conditions that preclude them from accessing health insurance and lifesaving care are able to get covered.

Pennsylvania has one of the most restrictive policies on abortion funding and has been a leader on providing support for pregnant women through their Real Alternatives program.

Under current law, state-funded health plans may not pay for abortions beyond Hyde restrictions (those other than cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother). Any organization receiving state funds may not provide or refer for abortion. Additionally, neither state nor federal funds can used for abortion and public facilities may not provide abortion services unless they meet the Hyde restrictions.

"We appreciate the leadership of our pro-life Democrats in Congress who are able to work closely with the Administration to ensure that no public funds will be used for abortion. The intent of the Executive Order will be adhered to," said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America. "While Republicans continue to mischaracterize aspects of the health reform bill, we will work to ensure the law provides affordable and accessible health care for millions of Americans while upholding the longstanding ban on public funding of abortion."

Democrats For Life of America was founded in 1999 to mobilize Democrats at the local, state, and national levels. Their primary mission has been to elect pro-life Democrats, support pro-life elected officials, promote a pro-life plank in the Democratic Party platform and achieve legislation that fosters respect for human life.

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