Four years ago, Bart Stupak was a member of Congress from Michigan who served as the leader of a group of anti-abortion Democrats. In an op-ed in USA Today two weeks ago, he told a very revealing story:
During the battle over the ACA’s passage, pro-life Democratic members of Congress negotiated with the President to ensure that the Act would not be employed to promote abortion. During the final debate on the Affordable Care Act, I engaged in a colloquy with Chairman Henry Waxman reaffirming that Americans would not be required to pay for abortions or violate their conscience by participating in or promoting a procedure they find morally objectionable.
Stupak says he and his colleagues got exactly what they requested: “In response, we received an ironclad commitment that our conscience would remain free and our principles would be honored.”
Of course, that is not what happened. Thanks to the support of Stupak and his colleagues, every Democrat in Congress voted for passage of the Affordable Care Act — even though none of them had actually read the thing. You’ll remember that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they had to pass the measure to find out what was in it.
Well, they did. And as a result, the Department of Health and Human Services, which was given the job of enforcing the new law, issued a mandate in 2012 requiring all health plans cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives. Among the 20 different contraceptives that employers would be required to pay for were four drugs and devices that could terminate human life at its earliest stages.
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