Bishops: No Abortion Coverage for Capitol Hill Under Obamacare

Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 03:56 PM

By Lisa Barron

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to the Obama administration asking it to prevent federal subsidies for health insurance from covering abortions for members of Congress and their staffers.

The move comes after the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) ruled last month that lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through the new exchanges created under Obamacare.

But the decision did not address the issue of abortion coverage, although an amendment to the Affordable Care Act authored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. prohibits abortion funding for federal employees.

In the letter, the bishops wrote, "The fact that members of Congress and congressional staff will now…select a plan from the exchange instead of from a menu of plans offered by insurers with which OPM has contracted, does not affect the continued applicability of the Smith amendment."

"The administration cannot have it both ways," they added.

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