The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has unveiled that members of Congress and their staffs will be allowed to choose buy healthcare plans that cover abortion services on Obamacare exchanges.
The finalized rule states that taxpayers will not have to support abortions under Obamacare. The ruling says that individuals will have to pay expenses from their own back pocket and funds from the federal government will not cover the services.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), is disappointed that the House will drop religious liberty protections from the Continuing Resolution. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s religious-freedom amendment, which was passed Sunday morning, would have postponed all of Obamacare for one year and added conscience protections.
“In addition to delaying Obamacare for one year, my amendment protects people from the radical HHS mandate which violates millions of Americans' deeply-held religious beliefs and it prevents taxpayer subsidies from going to insurance plans that include elective abortion coverage," Blackburn said in a statement.
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The CR will now be amended by the House with a delay of the individual mandate and a provision with the exception of federal contributions to Members of Congress and their staff. Religious liberty protections and efforts to stop funding of abortions have been cut out.
"We are disappointed that the House is taking up an amendment to the CR that ignores the threat to religious freedom that Obamacare poses and does nothing to address the abortion subsidies that will take effect,” Perkins said. "While we support the effort to ensure that there is equitable treatment between employers and families, the one year delay in the individual mandate falls short of addressing the threat Obamacare poses to the quality of healthcare, our economy and our freedom.
“We will fight to push for religious freedom protections and end abortion subsidies whether on a final CR or other must-pass legislation," concluded Perkins.
Writing to Congress last week, Seán Cardinal O’Malley and Most Reverend William E. Lori of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed their concerns and to preserve religious freedom of conscience rights on contraceptive coverage.