How Obamacare Decimated Bipartisan Pro-Life Support

 

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the passage of the President’s health care plan! While many experts will write on how the health care law is hurting the economy, families, the unborn, medical device manufacturers, businesses, the elderly, etc. etc. I’d rather turn my attention to a victim not many are talking about: pro-life bi-partisanship on the federal level.

MarchForLife_Obamacare5years_Meme copyHistorically the Democratic Party has been pro-abortion since the Carter Administration and became even more so in response to the strong pro-life views of President Ronald Reagan.  Despite this fealty to abortion pro-life views were tolerated in the Democratic Party, in part due to their large Catholic constituency.  This tolerance was limited of course.  If you wanted to run for higher office you needed to renounce your pro-life views (believe it or not at one time Jesse Jackson and Senators Al Gore and Joe Biden were pro-life, until they decided to run for President).

Further evidence of this limited tolerance was one of the strongest pro-life Governors of the 1980s and 1990s was a Democrat, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey.  Governor Casey was best known for challenging his Party to be more tolerant of pro-life views and also in legally advocating for the unborn in  Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a major Supreme Court case that upheld almost all the prohibitions on abortion that Governor Casey had signed into law.  Despite this (or more likely because of this) the popular governor was barred repeatedly from speaking at Democratic Party conventions.  Around this same time a newly elected President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary were expertly putting up smoke screens on the issue of abortion – arguing that it should be “safe, legal and rare” while implementing policies that solidified pro-abortion policies within the federal government. The Clintons increased  ties between the Democratic Party and radical pro-abortion groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, including increasing taxpayer funds to such groups who in turn increased campaign donations to Democrats.

This smoke screen approach to hide radical pro-abortion policies became the norm for some Democrats such as Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and, the future President Barack Obama..  However a number of strong pro-life Democrats also emerged such as Reps. Bart Stupak (R-Mich.), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Colin Peterson (D-Minn.), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Penn.) Nick Rahall (D-WV), Alan Mollohan (D-WV) Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebr.).

Along comes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), “Obamacare” introduced as a bill in November, 2009, and passed in March, 2010. The bill rolled back decades of abortion policy, allowing taxpayer subsidies for policies with elective abortion under a system of accounting gimmicks, and charging an “abortion surcharge” for anyone enrolled in a federally subsidized health care plan that covers elective abortions – regardless of if the enrollee agrees with the policy or not.

As passed five years ago today Obamacare also lacks comprehensive abortion funding restrictions, instead relying on a powerless Executive Order that reiterates the very accounting gimmicks that allow for taxpayer funding of abortions. Legal precedent has shown that Executive Orders cannot trump the law. Additionally Obamacare created slush funds for pro-abortion groups; opened the door for President Obama’s mandate that forces people (regardless of their views on abortion) to pay for abortifacients and also uses taxpayer funds to pay for abortions in health care plans for federal employees.

Prior to the vote on  Obamacare the Democrats listed above were reliable on standing up for pro-life principles, but following  the vote only Reps. McIntyre, Lipinski and Peterson remained loyal to the pro-life cause.As of November 2014 only Dan Lipinski remains in Congress.

During the passage of Obamacare the betrayal of Rep. Bart Stupak is well known.  Long a champion for adding pro-life protections into the health care legislation he folded under pressure from the White House and pro-abortion groups (closely tied financially to each other) to accept a health care law with no pro-life protections other than a smoke screen scheme devised by once pro-life Senator Ben Nelson.

Not well known during the Obamacare debate is that pro-life Republicans faced a challenge to their pro-life views during the Obamacare debate as well.  Prior to the first vote in the House on that chamber’s draft of health care legislation a group of fiscally conservative minded folks sought to use the pro-life movement as a political tool against the health care law.  On the day of the debate representatives from a fiscal conservative group started falsely telling Republicans that pro-life groups, including the one I worked for at the time, wanted to sink the amendment that would have put pro-life protections into the health care law, also known as the Stupak Amendment.  Luckily we were able to set the record straight that day – knowing that the result of Republicans voting against a clearly pro-life amendment would have divided the pro-life movement and cause pro-life Democrats to rightly no longer trust Republicans on the issue of the protecting the unborn.  Instead pro-life Republicans voted on principle for the pro-life amendment, which in turn gave anti-Obamacare forces months more to prepare grassroots for the continuing fight.

Ironically it was Rep. Stupak’s later voting against a similar version of his own amendment that sealed his betrayal of pro-life principles and allowed for the passage of the pro-abortion Obamacare legislation.

That betrayal was not the end of the devastation though.  In the election following the passage of Obamacare many of the Democrats who were once pro-life yet voted for Obamacare lost their elections.  These losses, in large part, were brought about by the work of the Susan B. Anthony List.  One now former congressional member, Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) attempted to sue SBA List for being the cause of his loss of employment.  In his attempt he was aided by the group Democrats for Life (who also supported the final pro-abortion version of Obamacare) who reportedly revealed private e-mail exchanges to help target pro-life individuals, including myself.  These actions still taint the once proud organization today and make it untrustworthy in the eyes of many in the pro-life movement.

Obamacare changed the face of Congress in many ways, and not just with the defeat of once pro-life Democrats.  As Family Research Council recently pointed out, Catholics, seen as a strong force among pro-lifers, are also taking a second look at their traditional support for Democrats:

Catholics are bolting from the Democratic Party so rapidly that Pew Research Center now says 53% of white Catholics now favor the GOP (compared to the Democrats’ 39%), the “largest point spread in the history of the Pew poll.” And the evidence is sitting in Congress. When President Obama was swept into office, there were 98 Catholic Democrats in the House and 37 Catholic Republicans. Barely six years later, there are two times as many Catholic Republicans in the House (69) and 68 Democrats.

To end on a more positive note, while it is true the Democratic Party on the federal level suffered, there is clear sign of a resurgence of pro-life Democrats on the local levels.  The numerous pieces of pro-life legislation flooding the states are being done with bi-partisan support.  In addition some Senate Democrats are becoming more emboldened in a Senate led by pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as opposed to the pro-abortion former Majority Leader (and former pro-life Democrat) Harry Reid (D-Nev.).  Self-avowed pro-life Democrats such as Joe Manchin (D-WV) and even Bob Casey (D-Penn.) (son of the aforementioned Governor who voted for the pro-abortion version of Obamacare) are currently stepping up to the plate to defend barring of taxpayer funds in the human trafficking bill.  All of this is a good thing – pro-life policies should not be a partisan issue.  Abortion kills regardless of political party.

Transparent Trap: Abortion in Obamacare

 

Yesterday, Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives introduced their massive end of year spending bill, called by some a “CROmnibus.”  The bill is a disappointment in that it doesn’t give teeth to any pro-life issues that need immediate attention, such as states like California forcing Christian entities to pay for abortions.  However, it does offer instructions to the Obama Administration on issues of transparency in regards to abortion within the health law commonly known as Obamacare.

>>>>> Watch the March for Life Google Hangout with Pro-Life Caucus Chairman, Congressman Chris Smith, Are You Subsidizing Abortion Coverage?

This legislation is a prime opportunity to draw attention to the taxpayer-funded abortion coverage in the ACA; specifically, the lack of transparency regarding abortion coverage.  It has become evident that it is very difficult for consumers seeking exchange plans to identify which, if any plans, on their state exchange exclude abortion. This is vital information for pro-life consumers in the 27 states that have not passed laws to exclude abortion coverage in their state exchange.  Since there is a mandatory monthly abortion surcharge included in the premiums for any plan that includes elective abortion, pro-life consumers will want to identify plans that exclude abortion.  However, the exchange websites do not indicate whether abortion coverage is included in each plan and the pricing information does not specify when the price includes the abortion surcharge.

The CROmnibus includes the following language concerning Obamacare abortion transparency provision:

  1. 81, Division G Joint Explanatory Statement:

Transparency in Health Plans.-The agreement directs the Secretary to provide

additional clarification to qualified health plans, based upon relevant and related

GAO findings, to ensure greater consistency and full transparency of coverage

options included in health insurance plans prior to plan purchase in the

marketplace enrollment process. The agreement requests a timeline for such

clarifying guidance to be submitted to the House and Senate Committees on

Appropriations within 30 days after enactment of this act.

If the CROmnibus passes this week, it will likely be months (if ever) before the Obama Administration actually complies with the request.  However, thanks to the work of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Family Research Council, consumers don’t have to wait as long.  Last month, the groups launched a new website to expose which health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges cover and do not cover elective abortion for the 2015 enrollment period.

obamacare abortionThe website, ObamacareAbortion.com, is a joint effort between the two groups. Researchers have examined new plan documents, contacted insurance carriers and the exchanges seeking plan information.  They also reference the 2014 Government Accountability Office report that provided a list of 1,036 plans that covered abortion on demand and were eligible for federal tax subsidies in 2014. This new online tool will aid Americans who want to make fully informed healthcare decisions and avoid inadvertently purchasing a plan covering abortion on demand.  Be sure to check it out.

March for Life Responds to GAO Report

This week the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report confirming what pro-lifers have been warning since 2010, your tax dollars are funding abortion through the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

Today, the March for Life participated in a press conference calling attention to this broken promise and calling on the Senate to act. Read Jeanne Monahan’s remarks below:

hr_7_press_conf_9_18_14_042_2_-_copy_0

 

Thank you to Mr. Pitts for sponsoring this important press conference and to all of the Members for taking time during such a full moment to discuss this critical report.

We probably all remember well the March of 2010 when the entire passage of healthcare law hinged on abortion coverage and support. The bottom line was that if abortion was included in the healthcare law, it wouldn’t get the support it needed in Congress to pass. In those intense days President Obama promised that abortion coverage would not be included in the healthcare law. He even went so far as to imply that Hyde protections — the established pro-life protections since the late 70s would remain status quo in the law.

Today we stand here to say that nothing could be further from the truth.  We have known that but for those who were confused by the 1000+ pages in the bill and the very confusing rollout of this law, please read this GAO report and take it to heart. There is without a doubt abortion in the healthcare law. This report is about the state exchanges, but abortion is included in other ways. The largest expansion of abortion since Roe vs Wade.

For example, consider the HHS mandate forcing groups like the MfL to cover drugs and devices that can destroy life in its earliest stages. The March for Life is a non-religious, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated solely to protecting human life in its most vulnerable stages. But because of the healthcare law we are being forced to cover abortifacients in our healthcare. We refuse to do that. And so we are now engaged in litigation fighting this injustice.

This summer the SCOTUS showed us that America still has all three branches keeping each other in check. With that hope we ask you to call your Senator to ask them to support HR7 and right the wrong of the Obama Administration and their broken promises. 

A Long List of Broken Promises

Several weeks ago, I visited healthcare.gov in search of pro-life insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act. After spending several frustrating hours on the website, I gained only limited information. For example, I learned that some plans include abortion coverage in the summary of benefits, but more often than not there was no mention of coverage at all. Thus, as a young woman who opposes abortion, I was left in the dark as to whether my hard-earned dollars would pay for abortion.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this morning that confirms my experience and indicates that there is, in fact, no consistent way to determine which plans under Obamacare cover abortion. The report stunningly reveals that in five states, including my home state of New Jersey, there is not one pro-life plan available. In December of 2013, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked under oath by Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) about how to determine the plans that cover abortion. She could not answer his question but promised to provide a list, which ultimately did not happen prior to her leaving the Administration. The Secretary also insisted that such information was clearly provided on the healthcare.gov website.  A statement, which, from my experience, is blatantly inaccurate.

Pro-life Americans should not have to spend hours reading summaries of benefits, or talking on the phone with insurance companies, in order to know if their health care plan violates their deeply held beliefs. This reality flies in the face of the transparency that was promised by the Obama Administration.

Your taxes are funding abortions

The GAO report has an even more disturbing revelation: taxpayers from all 50 states are subsidizing abortion under Obamacare, despite the fact that President Obama and members of his Administration, promised the contrary. In 2009, referencing the Hyde Amendment, President Obama told America: “This is a health care bill, not an abortion bill. We are not looking to change what is a core principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions.” [i]

During the healthcare debate in 2009, pro-abortion forces refused to extend Hyde Amendment type protections to the Affordable Care Act. Every year since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has banned federal funding for abortion under Medicaid, and is one of the most significant pro-life policies since Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973. Rather than extending the these types of protections, Obamacare set up an “abortion surcharge” through which insurance companies would bill individuals separately for abortion coverage, creating a pool of money funded by individuals, not tax dollars, to pay for abortion. This was not only an accounting gimmick, but it was unfair to Americans who would not know that their money was directly paying for abortion. Americans have the right to informed consent for something as critical as their money paying for abortion!

The GAO report further reveals that not one of the eighteen companies surveyed did actually bill separately or itemized an abortion surcharge! In other words, the accounting gimmick put in place is not even being practiced, and through their taxes, Americans in all 50 states are paying for 1,036 of 2,089 plans to cover abortion. Roughly half of the plans available through Obamacare provide abortion on demand!

The Obama Administration’s list of broken promises continues to grow, and the non-partisan GAO report confirms this. This is not the transparency that America was promised. Please, no more broken promises, Mr. President.


[i]  “Obama: ‘This is a Health Care Bill, Not an Abortion Bill” Nov 10, 2009,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pFiCPgmgqE

March for Life Files Lawsuit Against HHS Mandate

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2014

CONTACT: Ann Conant

March for Life Education and Defense Fund

202.234.3300

annconant@marchforlife.org

* * MEDIA ADVISORY * *

March for Life Files Lawsuit Against HHS Mandate

WASHINGTON – The March for Life Education and Defense Fund filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate through the legal firm, Alliance Defending Freedom. The March for Life is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization dedicated to protecting nascent human life from the moment of fertilization/conception, most notably through its annual march every January in the nation’s capital.  This lawsuit is the latest case by a non-profit organization to challenge the mandate since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against it last month on behalf of two for-profit family businesses in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.

The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy financial penalties through the IRS.

March for Life President had this to say about the case: “The March for Life Education and Defense Fund was founded to protect nascent life in the womb. Our organization must be free to operate according to this belief. The government should not be allowed to force us to pay for insurance coverage that covers drugs and devices that can cause an abortion.”

For further information, please contact Ann Conant with March for Life at 202.234.3300.

March for Life Stands Against HHS Mandate

“As a proud American, it breaks my heart to see the government force businesses and religious non-profits against their will to carry drugs and devices which can destroy rather than prevent life.” – Jeanne Monahan

On May 8th, March for Life President Jeanne Monahan stood with pro-life leaders to support Priests for Life as their case against the HHS contraceptive mandate was heard in federal court.  WATCH Jeanne Monahan’s comments below:

Abortion Coverage Subsidies

Download this document as a PDF.

Are You Subsidizing Abortion Coverage?

For background information on abortion coverage in Obamacare state exchanges, click here.

ACTION PLAN

Exchange Research Guidelines

Below are the 28 states and localities that include abortion in the state exchanges (other states have voted to opt-out of such coverage):

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Consumers shopping for plans on the ACA exchanges want to know if their plan covers abortion. This is very hard to decipher. Many plans do not specify on the website whether their benefits package include abortion.

To find out for yourself you can visit Healthcare.gov to find the plans or link to the state-run exchange. Explore the summary of benefits coverage for each plan offered in the state. Use the search tool to scan for the words “abortion” and “termination,” and also scroll through to the section at the end of each benefit list to review the list of additional excluded and covered benefits.  Keep a record of whether abortion is a covered benefit, excluded or not mentioned at all. Ideally, print the relevant page of each plan for your records.

Once you have identified all the carriers operating on the exchange, and the status of the plans’ abortion coverage, calls should be made to the carrier companies. Ideally, a local resident should make the calls to inquire as to whether the plan includes abortion coverage.

A suggested script is below. The caller should take very careful notes of what the carrier says, and if possible, get the name of the person they are talking with.

General script:

Hi, I’m shopping for a healthcare plan and I was looking at your plan options on healthcare.gov. Can you tell me which of them include coverage for abortion? OR Can you tell me which of your plans don’t include abortion coverage?

Typically you will get a general answer – “its’ covered,” and you will want to try to dig a little more, “is it always covered, are there any exceptions?”

If they ask why you want to know, you should say whatever you are comfortable with. One suggestion is “I don’t want to be paying into the abortion pool.”

Try to write down whatever they tell you, as carefully as possible. Please try to get a name of who you speak with. Record your notes, including the time of the phone call.

 

When the project is complete please send a complete record back to us at March for Life at info@marchforlife.org identifying

1)      How many plans are offered in the state?

2)      Which and how many of those plans identify their abortion coverage policy online.

3)      How many plans actually cover abortion (based on what you learned by calling).

4)      What you learned from the carriers by making phone calls.

 

Here is an example of a summary of research for New Jersey:

Between January 22 and 23, 2014, we reviewed all the healthcare plans available for individuals shopping on the New Jersey Exchange. We examined the summary of benefits for each plan as made available on the internet. None of the 31 plans offered made any mention of abortion coverage, either as an excluded or covered benefit.

On January 23 we called the three insurance companies administering the plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerihealth and Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey and asked if abortion coverage was included. Blue Cross Blue Shield and Health Republic Insurance of NJ both said abortion was a covered benefit, so at the very least, 14 of the 31 plans cover elective abortion. The third carrier, Amerihealth, was a little squishier, saying abortion could be covered if it was pre-approved.

 

Abortion Coverage in Obamacare

Download this document as a PDF. 

BACKGROUND:

Pursuant to Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the federal Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required to ensure that there is at least one multi-state qualified health plan in each exchange that does not provide coverage for those abortions for which federal funding is prohibited as defined in the Hyde Amendment. Consequently, under the ACA, at least one of the “multi-state” plans approved by the Office of Personnel Management for possible availability on all the state exchanges should exclude elective abortions.  So the requirement is on the insurer who offers that health plan, not on the states.  And even the insurer is not required to cover all 50 states until FOUR YEARS after the plan’s approval. 

Insurance plans sold on the exchange will be eligible for federal subsidies even if the subsidized plan covers elective abortion – a radical departure from the policy governing all other federally subsidized health programs. This departure is accompanied by new accounting measures that will result in a mandatory abortion surcharge for many premium holders.  Despite the requirement by law there is little clarity on the subject of health insurance plans that do not cover abortion.  

 

ADMINISTRATION COVER-UP?

In an October 30, 2013 appearance before the Energy and Commerce Committee, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius agreed to provide a list of Obamacare plans indicating whether abortion is covered. Specifically, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked “Can you provide for the committee the list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer as part of their package abortion coverage?”  Sebelius replied saying “I can do that sir…We should be able to do it…I know that is the plan, I will get that information…”  

To date the Secretary has not provided the list discussed at the October 30 hearing. 

In December 2013 Secretary Sebelius appeared before the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) questioned her on why she has not provided the list.  In an apparent backtracking from her October 30th commitment to provide a list, Sebelius told Rep. Shimkus that “every plan lists plan benefits and the one plan benefit that they must list by law is abortion services, so as a shopper goes on, I would highly recommend that they look in the plan benefits section…”  When Rep. Shimkus pressed further pointing out that he had examples of summary of benefits documents that do not indicate whether or not abortion is covered, she replied “It is on the website…it is available…”

In March 2014, following up from the previous hearings Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD), a member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, questioned Secretary Sebelius about two key aspects of abortion coverage in the ObamaCare Exchanges.  National Right to Life has a report of Rep. Harris’ remarks:

At [the] hearing, Harris pointed out to Sebelius that the Maryland Insurance Commissioner had said that Exchange plans don’t have to invoice separately for abortion coverage in plans that cover abortion. (Congressman Harris was referring to Bulletin 13-24 issued by the Maryland Insurance Commissioner to insurers over seven months ago on July 31, 2013). Sebelius tried to evade responsibility for what the Maryland Insurance Commissioner was doing, but under pointed questioning from Congressman Harris she conceded that she has supervisory authority over the Maryland exchange. (For more information on how the two separate payments statutory requirement is being ignored, see “Bait-and -Switch: The Obama Administration’s Flouting of Key Part of Nelson ‘Deal’ on ObamaCare” here.)

 

VIOLATION OF CURRENT LAW

103 of the 112 insurance plans that Members of Congress and congressional staff are being directed to (the Obamacare exchange offered in the District of Columbia -DC Health Link) INCLUDE ELECTIVE ABORTION coverage. Only nine plans offered exclude elective abortion.  (Click here to view flyer regarding the nine plans.)

Many congressional staff –knowingly and unknowingly—signed up for these abortion plans marking a distinct departure from the Smith Amendment, a longstanding law prohibiting abortion coverage in plans provided to federal employees.   This was uncovered in an article by Anna Higgins, Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council.  Anna tried to identify which plans in the D.C. HealthLink excluded abortion.  Telephone representatives for the D.C. HealthLink erroneously informed Anna that all plans on the D.C. exchange include elective abortion.  When Anna published her article about her experience, she was quickly contacted by D.C. officials who apologized, gave the information, added a website FAQ, and informed her that D.C. HealthLink staff would be retrained on the subject so as to correctly answer questions in the future. The FAQ is a step in the right direction although abortion coverage is still not easily identifiable when browsing plans on the D.C. exchange.

The amendment offered by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) three decades ago to ban abortion funding in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Programs is still current law. Like the Hyde Amendment, the Smith Amendment prohibits the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) from funding or even engaging in administrative activities in connection with any plan that includes abortion. However, the Obama Administration is now violating the Smith amendment since OPM has begun to administer a system for Members of Congress and their staff to obtain taxpayer-subsidized insurance coverage that pays for the destruction of innocent unborn children.

 

WHAT IS THE CONCERN?

More taxpayer funds mean more abortions.  Experience with Medicaid indicates that unborn children are saved when abortion is not subsidized by the taxpayers. According to publications by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute:

·         “In the absence of funding, a significant percentage of pregnancies that would have otherwise been aborted are instead ca
rried to term,”

·         “Approximately one-fourth of women who would have Medicaid-funded abortions instead give birth when this funding is unavailable.”

 

Legislation that addresses the problems of secrecy (short of full repeal):

Rep. Chris Smith’s “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R. 3279).

 

What can you do? Read more HERE.

 

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Teachable Moment from the Bumpies

The language used in a recent blog post by the First Lady Michelle Obama on “The Bump,” a pregnancy resource website for expecting moms reveals the hypocrisy of abortion proponents – they acknowledge that an unborn baby is just that – a developing human!  (Well, except for Cecile Richards who has no understanding of science and when life begins.)  Even more frustrating, the blog post on the very “pro-baby” website touts a system that funds the destruction of developing babies through abortion.*  

Some of the phrases that the First Lady uses in talking about her pregnancy experience:

“expecting our first daughter”

“panic at the prospect of bringing this little person into the world”

“our little girl”

“when your baby is born”

The First Lady’s comments are very sweet, and while we may disagree about her husband’s politics and policy, it seems that the First Lady is a wonderful mom.  Even a recent article from the conservative website, The Federalist, talks about “5 Ways Michelle Obama is a Great First Lady.”  The fact that she prioritizes family over her First Lady duties is commendable.

However, her aforementioned phrases – and so many other references to pregnancy in the popular culture – prove the point that technically, everyone is pro-life – when it comes to expected or wanted pregnancies.

Be on the look-out for these references – in the news, on TV, in the movies, in celebrity gossip.  They can offer a “teachable moment” to share the truth with a friend and graciously point out how it’s not only wrong, but it’s discriminatory to support abortion just because a pregnancy is “unexpected or unwanted.”  Those babies develop exactly the same as those whose parents desire children!

In fact, the Bump blog has some fantastic resources on fetal development.  Prospective moms can enter their due date and track the growth of their baby.  Another great resource that you can share with a friend who needs to be convinced of the humanity of unborn babies is the Endowment for Human Development – take a few minutes on this site to familiarize yourself with the amazing stages of human development in the womb.  One by one we can change the culture until every baby – whether expected or not – is welcomed into this world. 

*HHS Secretary Sebelius has repeatedly avoided providing a list of health care plans that do not provide abortion funding under the “Affordable Care Act,” or Obamacare, presumably because she cannot.