The March for Life wants to know.
The March for Life Education and Defense Fund is asking pro-life Americans to help them build a database of abortion in healthcare plans.
In an inaugural webinar April 29, the Washington-based organization that sponsors the annual pro-life march marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, outlined a way ordinary Americans can seek information on abortion-funding and pro-life health plans.
“It’s not so easy to find out if your exchange covers abortion,” said March for Life president Jeanne Monahan in introductory remarks. “Prolife congressmen have asked how people can find out—and they haven’t gotten good answers, frankly.”
Last October, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., during a congressional hearing, asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a list of insurers in the federal healthcare exchange that do not offer abortion coverage. Sebelius responded, “I will get that information.”
But so far, Sebelius, who recently announced her retirement, has not provided such a list.
Joining Monahan on the webinar was Congressional Pro-life Caucus Chairman Chris Smith, R-NJ, who has introduced a bill designed to make it easier for people to see what they are signing up for when they choose a healthcare plan.
“People are buying insurance without a clue that they’re paying for abortion on demand and subsidizing this egregious violation of human rights against babies and mothers,” he said.
Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, outlined a plan that anyone can follow to find out which plans are pro-life, but he warned that it’s a little like going to the Department of Motor Vehicles office to renew a driver’s license or conduct other car-related business.
“If you’re going to do this you’re going to have to set aside some time,” he said. “We have a little script for you on the website, and we’ve tested this out ourselves.”
March for Life’s website lists the 28 states that include abortion in their healthcare exchanges (the others voted to exclude abortion from all plans). It encourages citizens to call healthcare insurance carriers and ask if there are any plans that do not cover abortion. They are then asked to send the results of their research to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Said Monahan, “We ask that you send us the information so we can help get the word out to other people in your state.”
John Burgeris a freelance writer covering mostly topics in Catholicism. He has worked as a reporter and editor at the National Catholic Register and Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York, and his articles have appeared in Human Life Review, Legatus and Family Foundations, as well as online at Fathers for Good and Catholic World Report.