Oberlander Legislation Prohibiting Taxpayer Funded Abortions Through Insurance Exchanges Wins House Approval
HARRISBURG—Legislation sponsored by Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong) to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified plans offered through a health insurance exchange was approved by the Pennsylvania House on Monday.

“Pro-life, pro-choice, undecided or indifferent, the vast majority of Pennsylvania taxpayers do not support their tax dollars being used to further the practice of abortion on demand,” said Oberlander. “This legislation is not only consistent with the will of the people, but more importantly the current rule of Commonwealth law that already prohibits even one penny of taxpayer dollars from funding any elective abortion procedure.”

Once enacted, House Bill 1977 would explicitly prohibit health insurers participating in any taxpayer-subsidized state health insurance exchanges—an insurance system created under the new federal health care law and currently slated to be operational by 2014—from providing coverage for elective abortions. Twelve other states have already opted out of offering this coverage.

While not prohibiting an individual from purchasing abortion coverage on a separate premium outside the health insurance exchange, the only allowable exceptions under House Bill 1977 does include: 

        • Averting the death of the mother on certification from a physician. 

        • Rape, when personally reported by the victim to law enforcement with the name of 
          the offender, if known. 

        • Incest, when personally reported to law enforcement, or, in the case of a minor, to the 
          county child protective service agency with the name of the other party.

As an additional safeguard, Oberlander’s legislation prohibits health insurance exchanges from excluding coverage for any post-abortion complication, any miscarriage or any complication associated with a miscarriage.

“Regardless of final implementation of universal health care, if we as a Commonwealth are going to succeed in safeguarding the gift of human life, Pennsylvania must do everything possible to preserve current law by prohibiting the existence of taxpayer-funded earmarks that make elective abortions more affordable or convenient,” said Oberlander. “This is the purpose of House Bill 1977— nothing more, nothing less.”

House Bill 1977 now advances to the state Senate for consideration. For the latest legislative updates, visit RepOberlander.com or Facebook.com/RepOberlander.

State Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
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