La. Obamacare Abortion Opt-out Bill Faces Final Hurdle

June 2, 2010 at 11:18 AM 1 comment

Committee Testimony submitted by BDF Senior Counsel Dorinda C. Bordlee; La. Senate Health and Welfare Committee, 5/26/2010

Note: H.B. 1247 by Rep. Frank Hoffman passed by a vote of 5-2 and will be heard this week on the Senate floor before it heads to Governor Jindal’s desk.

House Bill 1247 by Representative Frank Hoffman is a common-sense, common-ground bill that simply takes advantage of an express provision found in the recently enacted federal health care overhaul bill.  HB 1247 addresses health plans that cover elective abortion in the so-called “Exchanges” that will be created in each State under the federal bill called “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

 “Exchanges” will basically be Expedia-like markets where consumers can compare various health insurance plans before buying.

Contrary to current federal policy, the new Obama healthcare law will allow citizens by the year 2014 to use tax-subsidies in the state Exchanges to purchase insurance plans that cover elective abortion.

However – and this is the important part – Section 1303 of the new federal health care law expressly gives Louisiana and all other states the power to opt-out of allowing health plans in the Exchange to cover elective abortion. The law provides as follows:

 ‘‘SEC. 1303. ‘‘(a) STATE OPT-OUT OF ABORTION COVERAGE.— ‘‘(1) A State may elect to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an Exchange in such State if such State enacts a law to provide for such prohibition.

 In April of this year, Tennessee and Arizona became the first states to enact this “Abortion Opt-out” law.  Bills have also been recently passed and sent to the Governors of Missouri, Mississippi, Florida and Oklahoma. 

 Louisiana must pass HB 1247 if the state wants to take advantage of the option to prohibit tax-subsidized abortion through health plans in the Louisiana Exchange.

 Abortion is about taking human lives, not saving them.  That’s why abortion is not healthcare.  And that is why overwhelming majorities in Louisiana and across the nation oppose the use of scarce tax dollars to fund other people’s elective abortions.

Dorinda C. Bordlee
Vice President, Senior Counsel
Bioethics Defense Fund
Human Rights from Beginning to End
(504) 231-7234


Entry filed under: Abortion, Obamacare, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • […] Bioethics Defense Fund was the only legal organization providing on-the-ground drafting and legal expertise to the Governor’s staff and the bill author, Rep. Frank Hoffmann (R-West Monroe), who carried the bill through both committees and the House floor.  BDF also helped prepare Senator Gerald Long (R-Winnfield) to carry the bill on the Senate floor.  Both of these legislators are outstanding and articulate heroes for life.  Read more about the La. H.B. 1247 here. […]


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