Oberlander Legislation Outlawing Taxpayer Funded Abortions Wins House Approval Again

HARRISBURG — For the second time in less than two years, 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 Tuesday.

“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 818 would explicitly prohibit health insurers participating in any taxpayer-subsidized state health insurance exchange — 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. 

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 818 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 if Pennsylvania ever decides to create its own health insurance exchange, the time to act on House Bill 818 is right now,” said Oberlander.  “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.  This is the purpose of House Bill 818 — nothing more, nothing less.”

House Bill 818 now advances to the state Senate for consideration.   For the latest legislative updates, visit RepOberlander.com or Facebook.com/RepOberlander.

Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Ty McCauslin, 717.772.9979
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