Pa. answers abortion funding questions
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
Anti-abortion activists say Pennsylvania's new program for hard-to-insure people proves their prediction that the federal health law would expand federal funding of abortion.
Officials with the National Right to Life Committee say they've read Pennsylvania's insurance plan proposal for people with pre-existing conditions
They say it could cover many kinds of elective abortion, but Roseanne Placey, a press secretary for the state insurance department, says the program will follow federal law.
Placey: We could not and would not use federal money to cover elective abortions, we could not and would not use federal money to go beyond the scope of the Hyde Amendment in the case of non-elective abortions.
The Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.
Douglas Johnson is legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.
Johnson: If the state says they voluntarily are going to adopt a policy like the Hyde Amendment for that to have force they have to write it in, otherwise abortionists when they submit their claims have to be paid.
Other political pundits say it's hard to know how the health law will affect abortion access until the new rules are tested by patients and interpreted by insurance companies.
Placey: There's something lost in all of this, this is a high risk pool. The likelihood that women would be coming to this program to have abortion coverage is very limited. These are people with serious illnesses that have gone without coverage and care because of pre-existing conditions.