Abortion Funding Opt-out
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 2, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Good morning, Jim. During the session, I reported asking a friend how things were going for the pro-life bill she was working. At that point, she was waiting for her bill to be “tweaked” so it would pass.
But “tweaking” a bill is not as easy as it sounds. Adding a comma in the wrong place or putting “and” where an “or” should be is a big deal, because the tiniest amendment can dramatically change or kill a bill. But her waiting was rewarded; and the tweaking was successful. So, when S.B. 98 goes into effect, no insurance policy issued in this state will be allowed to provide coverage for abortion unless it is already allowed in Georgia.
Pro-life lobbyists got S.B. 98 passed. It does not create or recognize a right to abortion; it will not make legal any abortion that is currently illegal in Georgia; and it does not affect benefits for abortion already permitted under the state health insurance plan as approved by the board and existing on January 1st of this year.S.B. 98 passed the Senate in February and the House passed a substitute version March 18th, which was agreed to by the Senate. So, two days before the end of the session, S.B. 98 was sent to the governor’s office and he, subsequently, signed it into law. Result: Public funding for abortion will not be expanded in Georgia, but abortions already covered by current health insurance policies will not be affected.
With the passage of S.B. 98, Georgia joined 24 other states with similar laws that honor the majority of the population who believe abortion is morally wrong and oppose using tax money to fund it. For 38 years, Congress has barred federal funding of abortion in all major health programs, generally through the Hyde Amendment and similar legislation.
That dramatically changed March 12, 2012, under a final rule issued under Obamacare to require health coverage under Obamacare to charge all enrollees for elective abortions. S.B. 98 prohibits that in Georgia, but millions of American taxpayers in other states will be forced to help support abortion coverage by subsidizing overall federal and private health plans offered on health care exchanges. We can be thankful for S.B. 98. It’ll save the lives of untold numbers of unborn children in Georgia. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.