“Today’s Supreme Court decision ratified a landmark anti-life law, which unfairly forces Americans to pay for abortions – Congress must now take action,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest

Washington, D.C. (6-28-12) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said that in their decision on HHS v. Florida, the Supreme Court “failed to overturn an unconstitutional law that forcibly and unfairly intertwines all Americans and their hard-earned money with the abortion industry.”

“The Obama Administration and the authors of the Affordable Care Act hijacked healthcare reform,” said Dr. Yoest, “as a vehicle for forcing their radical pro-abortion agenda on America.”

She continued: “The Affordable Care Act forces an abortion agenda on the American people unlike anything seen since Roe v. Wade. Despite clear and continuing public opposition, President Obama’s healthcare law contains numerous anti-life provisions and mandates. Congress must repeal these provisions and ensure that any healthcare law respects life.”

AUL’s legal team is leading the legal strategy to reverse Roe and working to restore a culture of life in America by changing laws to effectively defend life.  In HHS v. Florida, AUL filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court, along with lead counsel the Bioethics Defense Fund and other pro-life organizations, challenging the “abortion premium mandate” provision in the healthcare law.

AUL argued that the law violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by effectively forcing millions of individuals to personally pay a separate premium to fund abortion in violation of their sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs. This is clearly illustrated in the chart of the ‘Covert Abortion Premium Mandate’ that conscripts healthcare managers as secret agents of the abortion industry who are almost entirely forbidden to tell people that they are paying for abortion coverage. (click here to read more.)

AUL has offered life-affirming solutions to the anti-life provisions in the healthcare law—detailing the actions necessary to prevent taxpayer-funding of abortion or insurance coverage for abortion and to protect First Amendment freedom of conscience.

Following the enactment the Affordable Care Act, AUL released model “opt out” legislation to assist states in safeguarding against abortion coverage being included in their state insurance exchanges.  To date, AUL has assisted eight states in enacting opt-outs.

Abortion is woven into the healthcare law in several ways that must now be addressed including:

  • Failing to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for abortion, abortion coverage, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
  • Pretending that the Hyde Amendment protections were enough to prohibit direct payment for abortions.
  • Permitting federally-subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through the state insurance exchanges required in all 50 states.
  • Failing to prohibit all multi-state qualified health plans from providing coverage for abortion.
  • Including a “preventive care” mandate that is being used to force coverage of drugs and devices known to end life.
  • Failing to provide comprehensive First Amendment conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to abortion.

“Congress must now act to do what the high court has not,” said Dr. Yoest.

To equip those efforts, AUL has created Life-Affirming Healthcare Guidelines as well as a unique project to protect the First Amendment Conscience Rights of all Americans. For more information click here.

Americans United for Life’s sister organization, AUL Action, notes that the tragedy of the Affordable Care Act serves as a reminder how important it is to vote wisely in the coming election season.

“By a 2 to 1 margin, people choose life when they vote. It should be compelling to those up for election that after hearing over the last few years about the ways in which abortion is forced on the American people in the healthcare, Gallup reports that fewer people today call themselves ‘pro-choice’ than ever before. Life is a winning issue for voters.”