Former Democratic congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, a Catholic from Erie, Pennsylvania, cast a crucial vote in favor of Obamacare in 2010. She lost her seat that November in part because of her controversial support of Obamacare. But Dahlkemper said recently that she would have never voted for the health care bill had she known that the Department of Health and Human Services would require all private insurers, including Catholic charities and hospitals, to provide free coverage of contraception, sterilization procedures, and the "week-after" pill "ella" that can induce early abortions.
"I would have never voted for the final version of the bill if I expected the Obama Administration to force Catholic hospitals and Catholic Colleges and Universities to pay for contraception,” Dahlkemper said in a press release sent out by Democrats for Life in November. "We worked hard to prevent abortion funding in health care and to include clear conscience protections for those with moral objections to abortion and contraceptive devices that cause abortion. I trust that the President will honor the commitment he made to those of us who supported final passage."
Of course, most abortion opponents disagree with Dahlkemper that the HHS regulation is Obamacare's only moral problem. Under Obamacare, each state's federally subsidized health care exchange is required to offer a health insurance plan that covers elective abortions unless the state passes a law opting out of the requirement.
As former Democratic congressman Bart Stupak said when the Senate passed Obamacare in December of 2009, "A review of the Senate language indicates a dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage. Further, the segregation of funds to pay for abortion is another departure from current policy prohibiting federal subsidy of abortion coverage."
Stupak, Dahlkemper, and a handful of other Democrats who held back on voting for final passage of Obamacare eventually voted for the exact same language in the Senate bill because the president signed an executive order saying the law wouldn't fund abortions.
But the executive order signed by President Obama did nothing to prevent the subsidized health care exchanges from covering elective abortions.