Posts Tagged ‘ hhs mandates

At the Heart of the Government Shutdown; Obamacare and Abortion

Jim HardenYou and I are being forced to make a choice. Obamacare brazenly mandates that all U.S. citizens purchase health insurance that directly pays for abortion and abortion-causing ‘birth control,’ or face stiff financial penalties. This violates the religious beliefs and moral convictions of millions of Americans. Curiously, Planned Parenthood (PP), the nation’s largest abortion provider, had a hand in developing these mandates and has been hired by the Federal Government to enroll members in the new State health care exchanges beginning October 1st. However, Obamacare is experiencing massive resistance and is currently in flux. The Senate is deliberating whether to delay funding for Obamacare till January 2015. If they vote to pass the Blackburn Amendment then the deadline for compliance will be postponed for one year. 

Twenty-three states have passed measures barring the use of health insurance premiums to directly fund surgical abortion, but there remain several problems even in those states:

  1. Most insurance companies do not have ‘pro-life’ plans.   Cuomo on Reproductive Health Act
  2. Since most plans cover abortion and due to the long-standing Hyde Amendment forbidding federal funding of abortion, an ‘abortion surcharge’ of at least $1 per month will be deducted from each employee paycheck under section 1303 of Obamacare.  
  3. All federally subsidized plans available in all 50 States will include abortion and abortion-causing contraception which will be paid for by tax dollars. 
  4. Every plan, including those that do not cover surgical abortion, treats abortion-causing ‘birth control’ as a separate issue from abortion. Even if you are fortunate enough to find and enroll in a plan that does not cover surgical abortion, it will cover abortion-causing contraception without co-pay or deductible. These ‘contraceptive’ methods include the Pill, IUDs, the morning after pill (Plan B), and the week after pill (Ella) – which are all proven to create inhospitable uterine environments making it difficult for the fertilized egg to implant in the uterine lining thereby ending a pregnancy (i.e. abortion). This does not even address the extreme cancer-causing nature of these drugs (see National Institute of Health Report and World Health Organization Report).

CompassCare’s policy on contraception stands in stark contrast to Planned Parenthood’s and the prevailing conventional wisdom. Given the government takeover of American medicine via Obamacare and the fact that forced contraception coverage creates a massive violation of religious liberty, we thought it timely to discuss CompassCare’s position. CompassCare educates all patients on all forms of contraception and how they work. However, CompassCare never provides or refers for contraception.

So why doesn’t CompassCare refer for or provide contraception, aside from the obvious carcinogenic and abortifacient nature of a majority of the methods? Doesn’t it reduce non-marital pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STD)? The simple answer is, “No.” Why? Because of a sociological phenomenon called “risk compensation.” Dr. Jokin de Irala, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Navarre in Madrid, Spain, defines risk compensation as people increasing “risk-taking behaviors if they perceive themselves to be at less risk due to a technological preventive measure. The benefits of an intervention can be offset by this increase in risk taking” (video minute 12:30). Dr. de Irala goes on to site examples such as sunscreen use and increased skin cancer; seat belts and increased reckless driving. In regards to sexual activity, if students are told that condom use will protect them from pregnancy and STDs, they will likely increase the number of sexual partners and the frequency of sexual contact, thereby offsetting the potentially protective effects of the technology. Therefore pregnancy and STD rates go up with ‘safe sex’ campaigns because of increased risk-taking behaviors. It’s also important to note that condoms have been proven ineffective at avoiding HPV, Herpes, and Chlamydia (New England Journal of Medicine June 22, 2006 Vol 354, No 25 shows 100% condom use equals 38% HPV infection rate). 

According to the Guttmacher Institute 54% of all abortions were given to women who became pregnant during the same month they were using a contraceptive method. The percentage of unmarried births skyrocketed from 18% in 1980 to 41% by 2010, and STD rates are at epidemic levels despite the massive amounts of resources pouring into ‘safe sex’ education. Studies have demonstrated that the introduction of contraception has actually increased the incidence of pregnancy and STD rates as seen in Britain, the U.S., and other places, while rates decline dramatically when abstinence or fidelity is promoted as in Uganda.

Ignoring the facts, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood are committed to providing free, easily accessible abortion-causing ‘contraception’ under the guise of women’s health. Now they want you and me to pay for it through our health insurance premiums or face fines. You and I are being forced to make a choice.

Contraception, Obamacare, and Cuomo

While different forms of contraception have been used throughout history and in many different cultures, the term “birth control” was coined in America in the early 1900s by Margaret Sanger, foundress of the  the American Birth Control League (ABCL). “We who advocate Birth Control…lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction…” –Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment” (Birth Control Review, Feb 1919, pg 11). The ABCL changed its name in 1939 to the Birth Control Federation of America and in 1942 changed it again to Planned Parenthood Federation, perhaps to disassociate themselves with the revelations of moral travesties committed by Nazi Eugenics policies .

Margaret SangerMargaret Sanger and many others in the 1920s and 30s promoted a “Malthusian” philosophy of population control, first introduced by economist Thomas Malthuse. Malthusians embraced the idea that humanity was quickly approaching a size which the earth could no longer sustain. Therefore birth control (among other more heinous practices such as forced sterilization and abortion) was deemed an appropriate solution.

The flawed concept of overpopulation in conjunction with Darwinian social engineering for a ‘cleaner race’ conspired to produce a political agenda that promoted the mass application of birth control and the undermining of the family unit. The early targets for efforts to slow the growth of the population were the “unfit” and “undesirables.” These were defined by Malthusians as immigrants, the poor, indigents, minorities, the ‘feebleminded,’ and went on to include violent criminals and girls who had lost their virginity.   

The roots of birth control in this country have a decidedly anti-family, anti-Christian origin. Margaret Sanger once said, “Birth control…is calculated to undermine the authority of Christian Churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity . . . .”

Fast Forward . . .

Obamacare was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2011 and forces all individuals to carry health insurance coverage or be penalized. Obamacare mandates that all health insurance coverage include birth control and abortifacient contraceptives. This means that Christians and others who oppose the draconian worldview that gave rise to birth control and abortion in America will be forced to fund it, or suffer penalties via the Internal Revenue Service. In response to the overwhelming tide of First Amendment Violation lawsuits, the Obama administration provided a small window of accommodation set to expire January 1st, 2014 so that those who had moral objections could change their apparently flawed views and comply with the law as it is written. Americans United for Life in a recent analysis stated, “The Obamacare mandate forces countless family businesses, religious organizations, and other non-profits into a terrible set of choices:

1)       Violate deeply held belief by complying with the mandate

2)       Resist the mandate and face federal fines of up to $100 per employee per day

3)       Drop health insurance altogether, harming employees, and pay a roughly $2000 annual fine per employee for doing so (Obamacare clarification video).

Then Andrew Cuomo this past legislative session attempted to pass a bill called the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) that would have enshrined contraception and abortion as fundamental rights. The scary thing about a right is its eventual corollary, duty. This bill would have reduced the standard of care for women permitting non-doctors to perform surgical procedures as well as create an environment where not referring for contraception and abortion could be grounds for discrimination lawsuits. The bill was narrowly defeated thanks to your support.

Obamacare and Cuomo’s RHA have this in common: the promotion of Margaret Sanger’s ideology, which is both anti-family and anti-Christian, by making it illegal to practice a worldview that runs counter their own in your healthcare choices. This ideology undermines the family unit through the promotion of “sex without responsibility” and also subjugates future generations to the tyranny of immediate gratification. Sanger’s fundamental philosophy is still, sadly, very much alive today.

Your Health Insurance Premiums Now Directly Pay for Abortion

Forced to Pay for Abortion

If you have health insurance in New York, you are paying for abortion. All health insurance plans renewed in New York State as of August 2012 will directly cover abortion-causing contraception, for ‘FREE’.  This means if you are enrolled in a traditional health insurance plan, a percentage of your dollars is going straight toward funding abortion. Click HERE for CompassCare’s FACT SHEET.

If you are an individual of deep moral conviction, you cannot opt out. If you run a business with more than fifty full-time employees, you cannot opt out. If you are a faith-based non-profit whose mission is to ‘erase the need for abortion,’ you cannot opt out. The only two entities that can opt out of these mandates are States and ‘religious institutions,’ now narrowly defined by a secular federal government. For background information on the impact of these HHS mandates (click here) and to listen to a comprehensive Biblical perspective on abortion click here.

There are times in the journey of every Christian life that require sacrifice in order to live consistently with our faith. These decisions force us to live in ways that are not just different but counter to the very culture in which we live. These times are rare and if the right decisions are made could prove to be great opportunities to grow our faith and expand God’s Kingdom. I believe Obamacare is giving every American Christian just such an opportunity. Allow me to explain.

The moral dilemma for every Christian in New York and elsewhere is this:  Pay for abortion directly through your insurance premiums or go without healthcare

What is man?

Count the Cost

insurance. Obamacare does not say we can’t believe abortion is wrong. What it does say is that we have no right to live out our faith in practical ways that differ from a secular moral agenda. It looks as though we must choose between our physical health and our spiritual health. And what will the people of God do? This letter is a result of many weeks of inquiry and debate at CompassCare and represents our conclusions.

The ONLY option we can find that would allow us to exercise our right of conscience and NOT pay for abortion is to join a Christian medical cost-sharing ministry like Samaritan Ministries or Medi-Share for example. These programs are not technically health insurance and so are not susceptible to the egregious abortion mandates. But it will require sacrifice as neither covers pre-existing conditions. To offset those costs CompassCare decided to set up a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) from which employees can draw for those ongoing issues.

CompassCare believes that if we do not draw the line here with our reputations, well-being, and fortunes on behalf of the pre-born we, in our infernal pragmatism, would come to understand too late that ‘friendship with the world is enmity with God’ (James 4:4). CompassCare has chosen to stand in faith because we cannot fathom the thought of real human beings dying just so we can retain the benefit of our own personal health insurance.

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Think with me for a minute: 5% of the population of Monroe County, or about 50,000 people, regularly attend an evangelical church. And the average family’s health insurance premium is $700 per month or approximately $8400 per year. The expense of cost-sharing ministries is about half of traditional high deductible plans at about $350/month for a family. If just 10% of the evangelical church-goers opted out of traditional insurance that would free up $42 million PER YEAR! Half of that money would go directly to cost-sharing with other Christians and the other $21 million could go to church medical benevolent funds to cover the pre-existing conditions of the church membership.

This decision to opt out of traditional health insurance would require two things of us: 1) Trusting our souls to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19) and 2) A strong

commitment to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). But then what is our faith for if not for adversity? Let us bear one another’s burdens both in word and now in deed ‘[considering] this momentary light affliction’ (2 Corinthians 4:17) ‘all joy’ (James 1:2). May we all count the cost (Luke 14: 28) and answer the call to, “. . . ‘come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord and ‘do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.’” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Your Health Insurance Pays for Abortion–Just the Facts

The following is a consolidated summary of the primary points of which Christians should be aware concerning how the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare. The PPACA and the Health and Human Services mandates, with a particular focus on concerns regarding health insurance coverage of abortion-causing drugs and devices, now immediately impact you.  

A.  Health Insurance plans nationwide are now mandated to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives. Some of these actually cause abortion. These mandates took effect on August 1, 2012; for some narrowly defined religious institutions (see #2), the effective date was delayed until August 1, 2013.

“The HHS mandate requires coverage of ‘all FDA-approved contraceptive methods.’ HHS claims in a fact sheet that the mandate does ‘not include abortifacient drugs.’[1] However, the regulation itself, which takes precedence over any governmental ‘fact sheet,’ contains no such exclusion. Moreover, studies show that at least one drug approved by the FDA for ‘contraceptive use,’ a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone), can cause an abortion when taken to avoid pregnancy.[2][3]

B.  In the rulemaking process following the passage of the PPACA the administration has defined what it means to be a religious organization. Only organizations meeting all four of the following criteria are exempt from paying for insurance plans which cover abortion-causing contraceptives:

1) Has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose;

2) Primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets;

3) Primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and

4) Is a non-profit organization under section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Code.[4]

CompassCare—and any faith-based organization serving or evangelizing non-members—fails to meet this criteria.

C.  Even organizations which meet the above criteria for religious exemption will not actually be able to avoid paying for abortion-causing contraception, because the so-called “accommodation”[5] made by the administration simply requires the insurance companies to provide coverage, rather than the employer. But where will the insurance companies get the money to cover abortion? From their customers monthly premiums.

D.  As of 2014, the “Individual mandate” takes effect, which requires all individuals who are not covered under private insurance to purchase health insurance through a state exchange. Any participant in a state health insurance exchange which covers elective abortions will pay at least $1/month directly from their paycheck into a fund to be used only for elective abortions of all types.[6]

E.  There are currently 40 lawsuits involving over 110 plaintiffs filed in opposition to the HHS mandates.[7]

Resources:

 


[2] The drug in question is ulipristal (HRP 2000, or Ella). See A. Tarantal, et al., “Effects of Two Antiprogestins on Early Pregnancy in the Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis),” 54 Contraception 107-115 (1996), at 114 (“studies with mifepristone and HRP 2000 have shown both antiprogestins to have roughly comparable activity in terminating pregnancy when administered during the early stages of gestation”); G. Bernagiano & H. von Hertzen, “Towards more effective emergency contraception?”, 375 The Lancet 527-28 (Feb. 13, 2010), at 527 (“Ulipristal has similar biological effects to mifepristone, the antiprogestin used in medical abortion”).

[3] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Re: Interim Final Rules on Preventive Services File Code CMS-9992-IFC2” August 31, 2011. Available from: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/hhs-mandate/upload/Interim-Final-Rules-on-Preventive-Services.pdf

Looming HHS Mandates Force You and Me to Pay For Abortion while CompassCare Has Best Year Ever

Scheduled patient appointments are up 73% year to date over last year! The number of women who arrive for their appointments is up 59%. The number of positive pregnancy tests is up 63%. The number of abortion-minded women served is up 84%! Help CompassCare continue to multiply its success!

Because of the generosity and prayers of donors and volunteers just like you CompassCare is erasing the need for abortion. Women, one at a time, are receiving the information and support they need to feel secure enough to have their babies. Now, after emerging from CompassCare’s annual strategic planning week, we are poised to take the next steps at reaching and serving even more women at risk for abortion this year.

During one of the team planning sessions last week we were celebrating with the team leaders CompassCare’s 50% increase in the number of women served who were at risk for abortion and went on to have their babies. We discussed why we were able to see such significant increases in order that we might repeat it in the coming year. The following is a list of what we concluded were important elements to CompassCare’s gains last year and will be crucial to our gains in the future: a commitment to prayer, dedication to continuous improvement, a desire to be the ‘first best source’ for women, a realistic optimism, the ability to delegate tasks and roles in a responsible way, and increased inter-team communication.

Helping More Women Have Their Babies Than Ever!

We then set for the coming year a target goal together of increasing the number of at risk women having their babies by 100% over last year. We noted that if we all hit or exceeded our target goals per team that we would easily accomplish the 100% patient increase goal on our way toward 20% of the entire market thereby putting significant financial strain on the abortion industry in Rochester.

2012 and 2013 are in many ways transition years and as such are characterized best by uncertainty. No one knows what will happen with the global economy, the U.S. economy, the Presidential election, the healthcare system, etc. But what we do know is that God does not want us to be fearful men but rather faithful disciples (Matthew 10 24-39). We must keep doing the right things, in the right way, at the right time come what may.

CompassCare’s Rochester operation over the last four years has helped to save an average of 7 babies per month. And five of CompassCare’s top ten months occurred this year (and the year is not even over yet) with June and July seeing 14 and 15 lives saved respectively! 

As you know CompassCare is always looking for ways to multiply our ability to erase the need for abortion. A few of the projects to which CompassCare will be devoted this year are:

1)      Open-sourcing our proven and highly effective service strategy to all pregnancy centers. Now that we are certain the system can reach and serve more abortion-minded women anywhere it is implemented we are going to give it to any center willing to use it. This is the pregnancy resource center equivalent to McDonald’s giving all hamburger joints their complete marketing and management model. Why? To reverse the national abortion trend that much faster.

God, Grant Us Wisdom and Courage

2)      Implementing the next phase of CompassCare’s marketing initiative by testing new, more aggressive messaging based on the three tensions women typically feel that drive them to get abortions: guilt over ending the baby’s life versus facing the shame of an unplanned pregnancy, my life as I know it versus the baby’s life, no life for the baby versus poor quality of life for the baby.

3)      Developing a community education program regarding what it will mean to be pro-life after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act Health and Human Services (HHS) mandates. The HHS mandates force all individuals to purchase health care covering abortion and abortion causing birth control (for all plans renewing after 8/1/12) in addition to forcing most Americans to directly pay into an abortion fund (starting 1/1/14) or suffer severe financial consequences. The HHS mandates if left unchanged means that we can no longer believe abortion is wrong and worse still it will be illegal for us NOT to support it.

To learn more about how you can be involved you can ‘like’ CompassCare Community on FaceBook or sign up for a CompassCare Tour by emailing Daniel Tomlinson at daniel.tomlinson@compasscare.info. Or if you know you would like to contribute financially just click here.