This is the tenth entry in a series on FOCA by Stealth by AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs, Denise M. Burke. The entire article from which this series is taken is available at Beware of “FOCA-By-Stealth”: Radical Abortion-on-Demand Agenda Being Implemented Piecemeal.
Members of the 111th Congress have already introduced at least 14 measures relating to abortion and family planning services. Nine of these measures are demonstrably pro-life, while five would provide expanded funding for “comprehensive family planning services” (including abortion) and are likely to result in an increased taxpayer-provided income stream for groups like Planned Parenthood.
Interestingly, the White House, Congressional leaders, and the media are expressing the most positive interest and attention to measures that would increase taxpayer funding of groups like Planned Parenthood. The most notable of these measures is the “Prevention First Act” (S. 22 and H.R. 463) sponsored by Senate Majority Harry Reid and nearly 150 other members of Congress and championed by Planned Parenthood. The “Prevention First Act” has several key components:
- Making Title X of the “Health and Human Services Act” a permanent program and providing it with at least $700 million in taxpayer funding each year. Since its inception in 1970, Title X has been a major funding source for Planned Parenthood. However, like many pro-life appropriations riders, Title X is not currently a permanent program and must be reauthorized every year. Under the “Prevention First Act,” Planned Parenthood stands to more than double the taxpayer funding it currently receives under Title X.
- Mandating health insurance plans covering prescription drugs also cover contraceptives. There are no exemptions for religious employers or others with conscientious objections to contraception.
- Creating an educational program to promote “emergency contraception.” Notably, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are major distributors of “emergency contraception,” often selling it at a significant mark-up.
- Removing federal funding from hospitals that fail to provide “emergency contraception” to sexual assault victims. Again, there are no exemptions for Catholic or other religiously-affiliated hospitals.