Can Pro-Life Groups Talk About Taxpayer Funded Abortion? Supreme Court to Decide

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments relating to the free speech rights of the pro-life group, Susan B. Anthony List (SBA). The case comes before the high court for oral arguments Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The case, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, involves SBA’s efforts to expose taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare. When SBA attempted to erect billboards to educate former Representative Steve Driehaus’s constituents about his vote in support of taxpayer-funded abortion, it was thwarted by the Ohio Election Commission. The Commission threatened SBA with prosecution under an Ohio law proscribing “false” political speech if the organization advertised the fact that Driehaus had voted for taxpayer funding for abortion.

As implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has proceeded, it has become more and more evident that SBA’s message was far from false—yet they were chilled in the exercise of their right to free speech because of the threat presented by Ohio’s archaic, unconstitutional law.

Some of the abortion funding in the ACA can be summed up as follows: It provides an affordability tax credit for abortion; it makes direct appropriations for special health programs including abortion; and it provides subsidies for abortion in Congressional employee health plans. Research both from SBA’s education arm, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) as well as the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 6.1 million women will gain elective abortion coverage under Obamacare through the ACA’s affordability subsidies and the Medicaid expansions alone.

“This case is important to pro-life citizens on two levels,” comments Dana Cody, LLDF’s President and Executive Director. “First, this Ohio law is an unconstitutional bar to robust public debate and should be struck down. But secondly, even if the Ohio law is somehow constitutional, it had no application to SBA’s messaging here, because they were telling the truth. Obamacare funds abortion on an unprecedented level.”