Politics

Federal judge halts ObamaCare provision that would force abortion coverage

As the Obama administration comes to an end, so do the executive branch’s attempts to push a pro-abortion agenda on Americans with religious and moral objections to such policies. As Reuters reported, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a federal judge in Texas, granted an injunction against the Affordable Care Act’s (ObamaCare) provision which sought to include “discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy” in order to force coverage of abortion and gender transition.

Plaintiffs, which included Texas and other states, as well as groups such as the Franciscan Alliance and the Christian Medical & Dental Society, were concerned that the regulation would “require them to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions, regardless of their contrary religious beliefs or medical judgment.”

As Reuters also mentioned:

In granting an injunction one day before the new policy was to take effect, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor held that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal law governing rule-making practices.

The judge also ruled that plaintiffs were likely to prevail in court on their claim that the new policy infringes on the rights of private healthcare providers under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

White House spokesperson Katie Hill called the decision “a setback, but hopefully a temporary one, since all Americans – regardless of their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation – should have access to quality, affordable health care free from discrimination.”

BuzzFeed also reported on the ruling, and included a statement from Health & Human Services spokesperson Marjorie Connolly:

We are disappointed by the court’s decision to preliminarily enjoin certain important protections against unlawful sex discrimination in our health care system. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act is critical to ensuring that individuals, including some of our most vulnerable populations, do not suffer discrimination in the health care and health coverage they receive.

Those speaking for the administration talk a lot about health care, but abortion is not health care, as the medical professionals involved in the case, as well as in the overall international community, realize. Abortion does not treat a medical or emotional condition — it simply kills a preborn human being, and may bring with it a whole host of new physical and emotional problems. No one is more vulnerable in society — certainly not during the past eight years of the Obama administration — than the reborn.

The Obama administration has also failed to acknowledge the rights of caregivers who do not wish to perform this life-taking procedure, arguably discriminating against them and their beliefs. The U.S. House of Representatives had voted to protect conscience rights with the Conscience Protection Act, and President Obama had promised to veto such legislation.

Other ObamaCare provisions have been blocked by courts — even by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the Court ultimately upheld ObamaCare in 2012, it ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods in 2014, companies which did not wish to provide certain forms of potentially abortifacient contraception, to their employees. This year, the Court also decided to send the decision involving protecting non-profits (including Little Sisters of the Poor and Priests for Life) from having involvement in providing contraception back to the lower courts.

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