<< BreakPoint Daily Commentary

Footing the Butcher's Bill: Funding Abortion through the ACA

Last week, Eric Metaxas introduced you to the concept known as “reproductive parity.” Stated simply, it means that if an insurance plan pays when a woman has a child, it must also pay for an abortion.


Thus, pro-life employers, such as the Electric Mirror Company of Everett, Washington, would be forced to pay for abortion coverage if a proposed Washington law mandating “reproductive parity” is enacted.


For years, as Eric noted, Christians were dismissively told that if they don’t like abortion then they shouldn’t have one. Yet it seems that everywhere we turn someone is trying to force us to pay for them.


And it’s not only Washington State: I recently heard from Casey Mattox of the Alliance Defending Freedom, of the situation confronting Christians in Connecticut.


During the debate over the Affordable Care Act, many people were concerned that the Act would force pro-life citizens to pay for abortions.


At the last minute, the president issued an executive order that “the individual mandate for insurance coverage didn’t result in public funding for abortions.” It theoretically segregated federal funds being used to provide individual insurance from a fund set up to pay for abortion coverage.


This fig leaf allowed the bill to pass. But no sooner had the bill been signed into law than the fig leaf began to slip. Former Congressman Bart Stupak, who negotiated the compromise with the White House, called himself “perplexed and disappointed” after the HHS mandate was announced.


And as Mattox informed me, the segregation of funds, far from keeping pro-life people from paying for abortions, is threatening to become the means by which they pay for other people’s abortions.


To understand how, we need to start with the exchanges set up in various states, such as Connecticut. If the exchanges all included a plan that didn’t include abortion coverage and if people could identify which plans paid for abortions and which didn’t, the compromise might have worked.


Unfortunately, neither of these is the case. The Connecticut exchange doesn’t include a plan without abortion coverage. Neither, in all likelihood, do the ones in Rhode Island, Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming, Washington and Hawaii.


And according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, even if there are plans that don’t include abortion coverage, the federal government “[prohibits] insurers on the exchanges and exchange officials from providing . . . Americans with truthful information about abortion coverage in the plans they offer.”


What’s more, the same regulations prohibit disclosing “the amount of the premiums that the issuers will collect from enrollees to be expressly and exclusively used to pay for elective abortions.”


Now that might not matter if the promise that “if you like your current plan, you can keep it” were true. But as we now know, it wasn’t. That’s why Barth and Abbie Bracy are being forced to participate in the Connecticut exchange in the first place.


Barth Bracy, who is very active in the pro-life movement, faces the possibility of paying for other people’s abortions through the separate fee that was originally sold as a way to protect people from doing just that. He can’t even find out how much he’s paying!


And that’s why the ADF has filed suit on his behalf. But not only on his behalf: All of us have a stake in what happens in Connecticut. The government seems intent on not only perpetuating the culture of death but making us pay for its maintenance, as well.


That’s why as Christians we must do everything we can to undermine and subvert the culture of death, and restore a culture of life: a culture that sees every human being from the moment of conception through natural death as being of incalculable worth precisely because we’re made in the image of God.


We do this in the courts, by supporting organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom. We build the culture of life on our knees in prayer. We build it by feeding the hungry and visiting the prisoner. We do it by supporting crisis pregnancy centers and caring for the elderly. And we must choose to be aware of what we are being signed up for and, like the Bracy’s, we must take a stand when necessary.


After all, we build the culture of life not only with our lips, but with our lives.


BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

Publication date: May 15, 2014

More BreakPoint Daily Commentary Articles