President Barack Obama says he will veto the Protect Life Act if it reaches his desk.
The measure would amend ObamaCare to reflect the 45-year-old Hyde Amendment which prohibits taxpayer dollars being spent on any health plan that includes elective abortions.
The Protect Life Act, scheduled to be debated in the House of Representatives Thursday, “retains Hyde’s exception for abortions performed due to the child’s conception in rape or incest or to save the mother’s life.
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. It is not a permanent law, rather a “rider” that has been routinely attached to annual appropriation legislation since 1976. It primarily affects Medicaid. It is named for its chief sponsor, late Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.).
The Protect Life Act confirms that the Hyde Amendment applies to ObamaCare and “also makes clear that no health insurance carrier may be forced to provide coverage of abortion in any of its health plans,” reports Kathleen Gilbert at LifeSiteNews. It also “strengthens the conscience rights of health care workers and institutions to reject abortion training, procedures, or referrals.”
Obama fought last year to keep Hyde Amendment language out of the health care bill and says he “strongly opposes” the Act because it “intrudes on women’s reproductive freedom and access to health care.” claiming the health care bill already preserves federal policy against tax funding for abortion.
“Pro-life leaders, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, contend that the bill is critical for preserving the status quo on abortion and conscience rights in the face of a health reform that promises to drastically alter the landscape of the abortion battle in America,” wrote Gilbert. ObamaCare “has already led to a major expansion of the abortion industry: health officials announced this summer that virtually every private insurer, including sectarian institutions, would soon be forced to offer free contraception, abortifacient birth control, and sterilization in its health plans as part of an essential ‘preventive care’ package.”