Trent Franks: Obamacare Must Be Transparent on Abortion Coverage

By Penny Starr | October 11, 2013 | 7:31 AM EDT

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) spoke at a press conference on Oct. 10, 2013 as Republicans unveiled the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act" requiring Obamacare plans to prominently state abortion coverage. With him, from left, are Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.) ( Starr)

( – Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) says Americans need to know if the insurance plans they buy on the Obamacare exchanges will pay for abortion – a procedure that many Americans morally oppose and one that ends the lives of thousands of unborn children each day in the United States.

“I would just suggest to you that sometimes we sort of forget, that before the sun sets today that we will have taken 3,000 unborn lives – that’s the same number that died on 9-11,” Franks said on Wednesday on Capitol Hill as pro-life lawmakers, including one Democrat, introduced H.R. 3279, the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.”

The bill would require prominent and transparent disclosure of abortion coverage for each plan offered on an exchange.  It currently has 70 co-sponsors in the House.

“It’s astonishing to me that we’ve come to the point when we don’t even tell people – when we’re willing to try to hide from those of a different opinion whether or not their dollars are even going to pay for the killing of these children,” Franks said.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the bill’s sponsor, noted that under Obamacare, health plans that include elective abortion are required by law to impose a monthly mandatory abortion surcharge.

“The new law requires premium payers to be assessed an abortion surcharge every month to pay for abortions,” said Rep. Smith. “But many pro-life Americans may unwittingly purchase pro-abortion plans because of a marketing secrecy clause embedded in Obamacare which stipulates that the surcharge be minimally disclosed, only at the time of enrollment.  In other words, bury it in the fine print.”

Smith described his measure as a “Right to Know bill.”

“Americans have a right to know upfront and with full transparency when they are purchasing a plan that subsidizes the killing of unborn children. Even the most ardent advocate of abortion should embrace full disclosure.”

Smith recalled that in October 2009, President Obama said in a speech to a joint session of Congress that, “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.”

But just days after the Obamacare rollout, the health insurance exchanges could be violating the Hyde Amendment -- which prohibits federal funding for abortion -- by funding plans that include abortion, Smith said.

“I realize that there are a lot of people that have differing perspectives of this issue,” Franks said. “But the real question is: Does abortion kill a baby?  “If it doesn’t, let’s all quit talking about it,” Franks said. “But if it does, America lives in the midst of the greatest human genocide in the history of humanity.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research organization that was once affiliated with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, reports there were 1.2 million abortions in 2008, or 3,288 per day.

Joining Smith and Franks at the press conference were Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.), co-chair with Smith of the Pro-Life Caucus, and Reps. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).