By Daniel McConchie and Mary Harned

After much debate, the Mississippi House took the important step Saturday of voting for a bill that would prohibit insurance plans in the soon-to-be-created federal health care exchanges from covering abortion.

Some in the media have argued that this is an unnecessary bill and a waste of the legislature’s time. The bill’s opponents say that the state already prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion and that the bill’s proponents are merely grandstanding.

In reality, this is an important and necessary fight.

According to the new health care law passed just last month, Mississippi will soon be compelled to create a new health care exchange where insurance policies can be issued that cover abortion. While rules are in place that are intended to prevent direct taxpayer funding of abortion, it is a fact that the insurance policies themselves will be able to receive federal taxpayer subsidies for anyone earning between 150% and 400% of poverty level.

This new subsidy is a significant departure from current federal policy regarding taxpayer funding of abortion. There’s no better proof that this is an issue than the fact that Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, in exchange for his being the 60th vote to cut off debate on the federal bill, insisted the new law contain section 1303 explicitly allowing states to opt-out of the abortion mandate by passing a law as the Mississippi legislature has just done.

There are those who argue that current law already prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion. However, they misunderstand what the federal law actually does. The law directs federal, not state, taxpayer money into subsidies of the insurance plans. Current Mississippi law only prohibits state money from being used, not federal. If states want to prevent federal taxpayer funds from being used, they must pass a new law to do it.

Others have argued that President Obama’s executive order on abortion makes a new state law unnecessary. However, the Supreme Court has long held that an executive order cannot trump laws passed by Congress, so the order cannot actually prevent federal subsidies from going to plans that cover abortion. In the new law, this right is reserved for state legislatures alone.
Mississippi is not alone in acting in this way. Arizona’s law has already been signed by the Governor. Tennessee’s law has passed both chambers. Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma are expected to soon follow. Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina are pursuing similar bills.

Mississippi has made the right move by affirmatively taking advantage of the option to prevent federal subsidies of insurance plans that cover abortion. We urge that the legislature send the bill to the Governor quickly, and it be signed into law.

Daniel McConchie is Vice President of Government Affairs and Mary Harned is Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life Action

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By Daniel McConchie

It’s  a key time of year in the Missouri legislature as several pro-life bills are currently pending.  Earlier this week I joined our state director in Missouri Kerry Messer to lobby legislators on several key pieces of legislation:

SB 793 would expand the informed consent protections in the state as well as opt the state out of the abortion mandate in federal health care bill.

HB 1010 would fund Missouri’s alternatives to abortion program, which gives funding to pregnancy centers and maternity homes, by nearly $2 million for the next fiscal year

HB 2252 would reauthorize the tax credits given to Missouri citizens when they donate to pregnancy centers

SB 971 would ensure that pregnant women learn about the potential benefits of banking their newborn’s umbilical cord blood

There’s only three weeks left in the session, but we are very hopeful that all of these vital bills will pass yet this year.  If you live in Missouri, contact your representative and senator and encourage them to support each of these bills by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 573-751-2000.  If you don’t know who your legislator is, visit http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx

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Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life Action, will be featured in a news story by Shannon Bream tonight on Special Report with Brett Baier. The show airs at 6 p.m. ET and the story featuring AUL will likely air around 6:15.

Bream blogged about the story earlier today.

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Yoest: Stupak retirement “just the beginning of the fallout over pro-abortion health care reform”

April 9, 2010

“Bart Stupak entered into a sham political deal that couldn’t be defended with a straight face.  He put politics over principle and now even the politics are catching up to him.  This is just the beginning of the fallout over pro-abortion health care reform.   Ramming federal funding for abortion through against the will of the [...]

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How to Stop Abortion Funding through Health Care Reform in Your State

March 30, 2010

by Daniel McConchie
Vice President of Government Affairs
With the recent passage of health care reform, citizens across the country have asked if there is anything they can do to help stop the funding of abortion.
The good news is – yes you can.
The new health care law allows states to opt-out of one of the abortion provisions [...]

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AUL Action at The Bloggers Briefing today #tbb

March 23, 2010

Members of the AUL Action staff will be participating in today’s edition of The Bloggers Briefing. Matthew Faraci, VP of Communications and Marketing, and Anna Franzonello, Staff Counsel, will be speaking about health care reform legislation that passed over the weekend.
You can follow the briefing online via streaming audio and video [...]

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Yoest on House Passage of Health Care Legislation

March 21, 2010

“Today, Congress ignored the explicit wishes of the American people by
voting to establish taxpayer-funded abortion. This reversal of
long-standing federal policy will not stand. Furthermore, the
assurance by the White House to address the problem of abortion
funding in the health care bill through use of an executive order is
an open acknowledgement that the bill just passed is [...]

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Yoest: Stupak deal “a tragedy for America”

March 21, 2010

“This deal to pass the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade is a tragedy for America.  We believe that Mr. Stupak’s choice to succumb to the intense pressure of the last week has resulted in his endorsement of a charade that does not even begin to address the anti-life provisions in this legislation. [...]

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Yoest: Executive Order Won’t Stop Taxpayer-Funded Abortion

March 21, 2010

“Once again, the proposal to address the problem of abortion funding in the health care bill through use of an executive order is a tacit acknowledgement that the bill as it stands is pro-abortion legislation. Both the President and the Speaker have repeatedly denied this stark fact.
Furthermore, the AUL legal team has concluded that an [...]

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Yoest: Executive Order “blatant attempt to subvert democracy”

March 20, 2010

“The proposal to address the problem of abortion funding in the health care bill through use of an Executive Order is a tacit acknowledgement that the bill as it stands is pro-abortion legislation. Both the President and the Speaker have repeatedly denied this stark fact.
The American people overwhelmingly do not want to see their tax [...]

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At Capitol Hill Rally, Yoest calls on Congress to Vote No on Abortion-Funding Health Care Bill

March 20, 2010

YOEST CALLS ON CONGRESS TO RESPECT THE LAW AND VOTE NO ON THE ABORTION-FUNDING HEALTH CARE BILL
“They don’t have the votes,” she notes.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans United for Life Action President Dr. Charmaine Yoest today joined the rally of Americans opposed to the current health care bill in the shadow of the Capitol and called [...]

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Life Counts Campaign Mobilizing Thousands in Key Districts Today

March 19, 2010

MESSAGE TO UNDECIDED REPRESENTATIVES –
A “YES” VOTE IS A VOTE FOR TAXPAYER-FUNDED ABORTION
Life Counts Campaign Mobilizing Thousands in Key Districts Today
Americans United for Life Action (AUL Action) is mobilizing thousands of activists in targeted Congressional districts today to make one message crystal clear: a YES vote for health care is a pro-abortion vote. Team [...]

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A Response to E. J. Dionne: Vigilant, Not ‘Tendentious’

March 19, 2010

The Corner at National Review Online today published a response from AUL Action’s William Saunders to a column by E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post:
In his op-ed today, E. J. Dionne criticizes U.S. Catholic bishops for their opposition to the health-care bill due for a vote this weekend in the House of Representatives. He [...]

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Life Counts: Your Stories

March 18, 2010

We are going to be posting excerpts from emails we received in recent todays from people who followed our advice about visiting their Member of Congress. If you haven’t visited your local district office for your Member of Congress, it is vitally important that you do so Friday. Click here for information on how you [...]

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Life Counts: CBN News story featuring Dr. Yoest

March 18, 2010

The video below is a CBN News story featuring Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of AUL action:

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Life Counts Ad Campaign Continues

March 18, 2010

Our Life Counts campaign continues. We told you about our newspaper ad campaign focusing on eight Members of Congress a few days ago. Today, we focused on six other Members of Congress with print ads.
The ads themselves are below:

Rep. John Tanner (TN)
Rep. John Boccieri (OH)
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (PA)
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN)
Rep. Tom Perriello (VA)
Rep. Chris [...]

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As the health care debate continues, let your Facebook and Twitter friends know that Life Counts

March 18, 2010

As the fight over abortion funding and health care reform continues, let your online friends and followers know that Life Counts.
Right-click on the picture below and save it to your computer. Then upload it as your profile picture on Facebook and as your Twitter icon.

Also, be sure to follow @AULaction on Twitter and become [...]

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Life Counts – Video: Visit Your Congressman

March 17, 2010

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Life Counts: Dr. Yoest on the Janet Mefferd Show in the 2 p.m. hour today

March 16, 2010

Dr. Charmaine Yoest will appear on the Janet Mefferd Show today in the first hour at 2 p.m. EDT. You can listen online live here.
The show will re-air tonight at 7 p.m. EDT on XM Satellite Radio on Channel 170.

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Life Counts: AUL Action’s Ad Campaign

March 16, 2010

The links below are to the print ads run today in eight congressional districts around the country as part of an AUL Action advertising campaign.

Rep. Jerry F. Costello (IL)
Rep. Joe Donnelly of (IN)
Rep. Baron P. Hill (IN)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH)
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (WV)
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND)
Rep. Nick Rahall (WV)
Rep. Charles Wilson (OH)

Update:  Six [...]

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Life Counts – Waxman: We Want to Pay for Abortions

March 12, 2010

VIDEO: Rep. Stupak: “[Waxman] came back a while later, said but we want to pay for abortions. I said Mr. Chairman, that’s where we disagree. We don’t do it now.  We’re not going to start. [Waxman: I think we should.]  I’m sorry, but the House has spoken. We had that debate. We won. 240-190. You [...]

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