Abortion and Birth Control in Obamacare: Part II

In this two-part series we will explore Obamacare further and expose not only how Obamacare funds abortion and contraceptives but also how it covertly expands access to both. Read Part I.

II. Expanding Access to Abortion and Birth Control

In addition to concerns raised by employers over having to pay for contraceptives, those covered by employer insurance have also expressed concern because the mandate will provide access to free birth control for those covered under their policies. For example, a parent might not wish his or her minor daughter to have access to birth control. Ordinarily a parent might exercise some control over this matter by exercising the power of the purse, but under the mandate, birth control drugs are going to be increasingly accessible since they will be provided at no cost as “preventative care.”

Overall, providing contraceptives at no cost to the consumer will likely increase their use. Since free and low-cost birth control is already widely available, this is not a foregone conclusion, but it is logical that more people will be encouraged to use birth control as long as there is no additional charge to them. Indeed, part of the rationale for the mandate is the Administration’s determination that more access to birth control will improve women’s health (see http://lldf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Mich-Fed-Court-Amicus-Brief.pdf as to why this is inaccurate).

Contrary to the media myth, increased access to and usage of contraceptives is likely to lead to increased, rather than decreased, rates of abortion. See Why the fight against abortion starts with opposing contraception.

Additionally, access to abortion will increase through the coverage of abortion in insurance plans that include elective abortion (a result of the “abortion premium” discussed above). Women who might not otherwise seek abortion—including minors who will receive coverage under their parent’s plans—will have access to insurance coverage for their abortions.

In another arena, Obamacare gives states the opportunity to expand the population whose healthcare is covered by Medicaid. In states like California, where abortion is provided at no cost to the woman through Medi-Cal, expanding Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare will increase the amount of government money that goes to abortion providers. (Note that abortion coverage in Medi-Cal is the result of a decision of the California Supreme Court, Committee to Defend Reproductive Rights v. Myers, 29 Cal. 3d 252 (Ca. Sup. Ct. 1981).)

The type of expansion that is occurring under Obamacare includes a demographic of persons particularly likely to seek abortion and birth control. Because Medicaid already covers persons with children within a certain percentage of the poverty level, the expansion will mean bringing a significant number of young adults, including young women of childbearing age, within the program. See Administration Rules Out “Deals” on Medicaid Expansion (expansion will consist of adults, 52 percent of whom are young, and nearly half of whom are women); Opting in to the Medicaid Expansion under the ACA. Thus, although it may be an unintended consequence, California’s acceptance of the expanded reach of Medicaid under Obamacare will result in an increase in access to abortion and birth control at state expense.

As mentioned above, these abortion and birth control related issues have been acknowledged and written about extensively by policy analysts, legal scholars and lawmakers. It is important to recognize the consequences that attend a piece of legislation of so sweeping an extent as Obamacare.

Unfortunately, many of the consequences are detrimental to the interest we share in protecting the most vulnerable among us, particularly the unborn.