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Abortion and the Health Care Bill

January 5, 2010
Jane Orient

The key abortion-enabling provision, the Mikulski amendment, is supposed to be about correcting a problem with coverage of mammograms. But what it does is to bind every health plan in the nation to cover, without cost sharing, anything the Secretary of Health and Human Services defines as a “preventive service.”

And what do “preventive services” include? According to the National Abortion Federation, “comprehensive primary preventive health care” includes “abortion care.”

However carefully one reads the bill, it is impossible to be sure what it does or does not mean, because it places unprecedented discretion in the hands of the executive branch. As Twila Brase notes, the word “Secretary” occurs 2,489 times in the House bill, and 2,500 times in the Senate bill. What Congressman Stupak or Senator Nelson think they have enacted into law could be superseded instantly — because they will have also enacted an essentially plenary delegation of power, beyond political accountability or judicial review.

The story continues …..

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