Health care

Does ObamaCare subsidize abortions?

Molly Henneberg reports


President Obama promised that taxpayer dollars would not fund abortions through the Affordable Care Act. 

But now, a new study by a pro-life group suggests that may not be true, in part because federal dollars will be given to those states that are expanding Medicaid -- which, in many states, includes abortion coverage. Also, federal dollars will be given to individuals who qualify, to help them purchase health insurance plans which may, too, include abortion coverage. 

"ObamaCare's annual net increase in insured abortions that are either fully publicly funded through Medicaid or heavily subsidized through the exchanges could be as high as 71,000 to 111,500," according to The Charlotte Lozier Institute. 

Critics say this would go against the president's promise, and the so-called Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money from paying for abortions. 

"We were assured that this plan would maintain the spirit of the Hyde Amendment. It doesn't do that," said Charles Donovan, president of the institute. "It will extend abortion funding and even make morally and religiously opposed people pay for those plans." 

But pro-choice advocates say that is not what is happening here. 

They say it's always the case, and is here, that the federal dollars will be separated, and will not be directly used to pay for abortion. 

They say the president is keeping his promise. 

"The president has been very clear that ObamaCare -- the Affordable Care Act -- would comply with the Hyde Amendment and there's nothing that I have seen including in this study, which basically is a theory at this point, thus far that shows otherwise," liberal radio host Leslie Marshall said. 

"I do feel the Affordable Care Act complies with the Hyde Amendment." 

Pro-life advocates contend there is no way to separate out the federal dollars. 

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., has introduced legislation that requires the ObamaCare exchanges to state upfront whether a health insurance plan covers abortion -- so people have all the facts before they purchase a plan. 

"There's nothing transparent about this," he said. "The president has broken his word. ... This is a massive violation of the Hyde Amendment." 

Fox News' Molly Henneberg contributed to this report.