IOM recommends mandate for abortifacients under Obamacare; ignores conscience rights

July 19, 2011/WASHINGTON, D.C./FRC --

Family Research Council expressed strong opposition to the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to the Department of Health and Human Services that health care plans be mandated to cover no cost-sharing contraceptives, including those that can destroy human embryos such as Plan B and Ella. There are no conscience protections for health care plans that object to such coverage, or for health care providers in insurance plan networks who object to prescribing such drugs.

Jeanne Monahan, Director of FRC's Center for Human Dignity, made the following comments:

Several drugs have been approved by the FDA to be legally categorized as 'emergency contraceptives,' despite functioning in ways that can destroy a preborn baby before or after implanting in the mother's womb. A federal mandate to all insurance plans to include drugs such as ella essentially would mandate coverage for abortion. Inclusion of contraceptives also undermines conscience protections that President Obama promised would be maintained.

"Earlier this year, we sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius urging HHS not to mandate that abortion or contraceptives be covered free of charge under the new health care law. If HHS includes these mandates, the conscience rights of millions of Americans will be violated, including issuers of plans, providers who contract with such plans, and Americans who will pay for the cost of these services. HHS should focus on items and services that prevent actual diseases, and not include controversial services just to placate the abortion industry.


Last January, FRC sent a letter to U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting that HHS not recommend the inclusion of abortion or contraceptive drugs as mandatory covered benefits at no cost to patients. The letter claims mandating coverage of such drugs would violate the principles of conscience rights laws. To date FRC has received no response or even acknowledgement [sic] of the letter.

Click here to download a copy of Family Research Council's letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


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