House Republicans pass bill funding Planned Parenthood, Obamacare
Bill requires all health plans to cover contraceptives, sterilizations
A $1.047 trillion bill funding the federal government through March 2013 has been passed by House Republicans. The bill includes the regulation that took effect on August 1 that will require virtually all health plans in the U.S. to cover, without fees or co-pay, sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives -- including those that induce abortions.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), described the health insurance mandate as an "unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country" and a violation of the First Amendment protecting the free exercise of religion.
The bill also funds the government for six months into the new fiscal year and for almost five months after the November elections. Congress turned to the stop-gap measure after failing to pass any of the 12 appropriation bills necessary to fund day-to-day government operations.
Declared unanimously as an "unjust and illegal mandate" by the bishops of the United States, the body declared the Obamacare sterilization-contraception-abortifacient regulation one that violates the right to free exercise of religion -- not only of Catholic institutions, but also of Catholic business owners and workers.
The bill does not prohibit funding for either Obamacare programs or Planned Parenthood, nor does it stop the government from enforcing regulations, such as the mandate from the Health and Human Services Department that nearly all health insurance plans provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs free of charge.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), described the health insurance mandate as an "unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country" and a violation of the First Amendment protecting the free exercise of religion. Boehner supports the CR along with the GOP House leadership.
The CR does prohibit the government from initiating any new programs or using the $1.047 trillion in the bill to carry out any programs or functions it was not engaged in during fiscal year 2012.
The bill prohibits grant programs that spend their allocations simultaneously block and other types of grant programs, from doing so with the money allocated in this bill.
The bill allows the government to continue executing the functions under Obamacare that it was carrying out last year and that Congress had funded. The government cannot move forward on implementing Obamacare outside of what it was doing last fiscal year.
It must be noted, that the bill does not prohibit funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.
According to its 2009-2010 annual report, Planned Parenthood received $487.4 million in government money; Planned Parenthood also performed 329,445 abortions in 2010.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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