On June 14th the Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill that would opt the state out of the government funding of abortions allowed under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama in March. When Governor Bobby Jindal signs the bill into law, he will have added Louisiana to four other states (Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri) that have taken similar stands against this newest expansion of abortion. Texas Right to Life is working to add Texas to this list.
Obama's recent health care overhaul creates health care exchanges in each state that will market a handful of subsidized insurance policies for eligible low-to-moderate income individuals. All of the policies in the exchange will receive federal money and consequently will be at least in partly funded by taxpayer dollars.
H.R. 1247, the Louisiana bill, will prohibit any funds from their state health insurance exchange to pay for abortion coverage. Section 1303 in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act directly authorizes states to take such legislative action. H.R. 1247 exercises this right in Louisiana.
Texas Right to Life is studying the “opt-out” bills passed in these four states and strategizing on the best way to pursue such exemptions in Texas. Other political efforts are underway in Texas to protect Texas from the Washington health care take-over, led by conservative figures like Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott, and Texas Right to Life help ensure that no Texan tax dollars directly or indirectly pay for the unjust taking of innocent human life.