WASHINGTON, D.C.- (7/20/11) – Americans United for Life staff counsel Anna Franzonello said Tuesday that the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendations on “preventive services for women” are “unsurprisingly supportive of abortion-inducing drugs because the IOM chose to invite abortion advocacy groups to the table to make recommendations.”
Franzonello, who testified before the IOM during hearings on what will be the standards of care for all American women and girls, noted that President Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Department essentially invited abortion advocates to become part of their policy-writing team.
“No American will be able to choose an insurance plan that does not include the abortion-inducing drug ella under the IOM plan released today,” said Franzonello.
She made the following statement: “The IOM recommendation would make the abortion inducing drug ella part of the health care coverage that every American will be forced to buy. Despite the fact that ella can kill a human embryo even after implantation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled the drug as emergency contraception. Thus, the IOM’s broad inclusion of the ‘full-range of FDA approved contraceptives,’ includes ella. This really was a one-two punch by the FDA and IOM to force all Americans to pay for the abortion-inducing drug.
“HHS regulations implementing this definition would affect all health insurance plans, through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) ‘preventive care’ mandate. Americans United for Life urges the HHS to reject the IOM recommendation, and to respect the conscience rights of pro-life Americans.
“The Obama Administration’s ability to push funding for abortion and abortion-causing drugs through the ‘preventive care’ mandate is something Americans United for Life has warned about since before PPACA was passed into law. The IOM’s invitation to abortion-advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion provider, who stands to gain financially from the mandate – to help form its ‘evidence based’ recommendation, buttressed AUL’s concerns.
“In the wake of the IOM recommendation, Americans United for Life continues to call on HHS to respect the conscience rights of Americans and to honor the promise of the ‘preventive care’ provision’s author, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), that the mandate would be used to prevent diseases, not to end pregnancies.
“However, it is telling to note that even though promises were made that preventive care would not mean abortions, today's IOM recommendation seems to imply that it would have considered abortion for its coverage, if the law had not prevented that.
“In the report, the authors wrote, ‘Finally, despite the potential health and well-being benefits to some women, abortion services were considered to be outside of the project’s scope, given the restrictions contained in the ACA.’”
To read AUL’s testimony on ella and other issues with the preventive care process, click here.