ATLANTA, April 25, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed into law a bill barring taxpayer funds from being used to subsidize abortions covered under ObamaCare-approved health plans.
The bill, S.B. 98, prohibits plans that cover abortion from being offered on the state’s health care exchange. It also forbids state employees from receiving taxpayer subsidies for health care plans that cover abortions. Georgia is the 25th state to pass legislation barring public money for abortions through the Affordable Care Act.
“As governor, I will not allow the federal government to force Georgia taxpayers to fund abortions,” Deal said in signing the bill on Thursday. It takes effect immediately.
Genevieve Wilson of Georgia Right to Life praised Deal for signing the bill. “As a pro-life woman and mother, I am deeply grateful that Governor Deal signed this law,” Wilson said. “Once again, he has demonstrated that he is solidly pro-life.”
Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest, whose group authored the model legislation on which S.B. 98 is based, praised Deal and his pro-life allies in both parties for what she called “the kind of courageous, bipartisan effort that engages the majority of Americans troubled by an aggressive and expanding abortion industry.”
Yoest also singled out the Georgia Catholic Conference and the Archdiocese of Atlanta for their lobbying efforts, saying the bill would never have been passed without them. But she emphasized that ultimately, it was up to the legislature to vote.
“Many office holders stood up for the principle that abortion is not health care, when the Senate passed the bill by 35 to 18, and the House passed the measure by 105 to 64,” Yoest said. “Given the fact that the majority of Americans do not want to pay for abortions, it’s vital to restrain the influence of the abortion industry that has been enriched by taxpayer funds.”
Both Yoest and Wilson said the bill was a welcome relief for taxpayers wary of being forced to pay for abortions.
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“The billion-dollar budget of Planned Parenthood is supplemented dollar for dollar from taxpayer subsidies,” Yoest said. “Too few people really understand how the abortion industry picks their pocket.”
“Georgia is solidly pro-life,” Wilson said, “and bringing a halt to publicly funding this horrific practice is long overdue.”