Pro lifers are often depicted in the media as not very bright.  But they are actually quite clever politicians, adept at using every available legal means to reduce the number of abortions, persuade the masses to accept their cultural beliefs—the majority in America now identify as pro life—and chip away at legal support for abortion on demand.  Over the last three-plus decades, it has accomplished all of this despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of  Roe v. Wade’s elevation of pregnancy termination into a fundamental constitutional right.  That is an impressive record, regardless of one’s views on abortion.

Now, some pro life states have used jujitsu politics to harness the overall pro abortion funding elements of Obamacare to prohibit all private insurance funding of non therapeutic abortions.  From the story:

Abortion opponents fought passage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul to the bitter end, and now that it’s the law, they’re using it to limit coverage by private insurers. An obscure part of the law allows states to restrict abortion coverage by private plans operating in new insurance markets. Capitalizing on that language, abortion foes have succeeded in passing bans that, in some cases, go beyond federal statutes. “We don’t consider elective abortion to be health care, so we don’t think it’s a bad thing for fewer private insurance companies to cover it,” said Mary Harned, attorney for Americans United for Life, a national organization that wrote a model law for the states. Abortion rights supporters are dismayed. “Implementation of this reform should be about increasing access to health care and increasing choices, not taking them away,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of the Senate leadership. “Health care reform is not an excuse to take rights away from women.”

Since Obama signed the legislation law March 23, Arizona and Tennessee have enacted laws restricting abortion coverage by health plans in new insurance markets, called exchanges. About 30 million people will get their coverage through exchanges, which open in 2014 to serve individuals and small businesses. In Florida, Mississippi and Missouri, lawmakers have passed bans and sent them to their governors. Most of the states allow exceptions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Insurers still could offer separate policies to specifically cover abortion. Three other states may act this year — Louisiana, Ohio and Oklahoma. Overall, there are 29 states where lawmakers or public policy groups expressed serious interest, Harned said. “You are going to see more actions like this,” said Tom McClusky, a lobbyist for the socially conservative Family Research Council. “This is not something we are just going to let fall by the wayside.”

The justices who signed the Roe decision sought to end the then nascent abortion controversy through judicial fiat.  But by inventing the power of penumbras to remove the issue from democratic deliberation, they unleashed a huge blow back and fueled a robust social movement that will be a potent political force for many years to come.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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