December 9, 2019
The 2020 Obamacare Open Enrollment Period spans November 1 through December 15, 2019 for most states. During this time, Americans will be able to sign up for Obamacare plans and many will receive taxpayer-funded subsidies to help pay for these plans.
FRC and the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) have completed the sixth annual review of elective abortion coverage in individual health insurance plans offered on state exchanges under Obamacare at Obamacareabortion.com.
Our investigation found that more locales than ever before are providing abortion-only plans. This means that Americans have much less choice over whether their healthcare plan covers abortion or not. Since last year’s open enrollment, the total number of plans increased modestly from 1,000 to 1,120. The percentage of total plans covering elective abortion rose 4 percent over this period from 65 percent of plans (650) in 2019 to 69 percent of plans (777) in 2020. While 26 states have opted out of abortion coverage by prohibiting plans that cover elective abortion on their Obamacare exchanges, 24 states and the District of Columbia continue to allow abortion-funding insurance plans. An estimated 777 plans cover elective abortion for the 2020 enrollment period.
A majority of Americans still strongly oppose the use of their tax dollars to fund abortion. Unfortunately, several states have acted against American attitudes towards abortion funding. This year alone, Illinois and Maine passed state abortion mandates that force every insurance carrier in the state to cover elective abortions. Now, residents in these states join the residents of California and New York who are also forced to pay for abortion in their healthcare plans.
Consumers have a right to know where exactly their money is going to make truly informed healthcare decisions that do not conflict with their conscience. Obamacareabortion.com was designed to help you determine if a health insurance plan covers elective abortion before you decide which plan to select. To find out if a health insurance plan covers elective abortion, click on your state on the interactive map. After clicking on your state, a summary of all the insurance carriers offering individual and family plans in your state (or federally-facilitated) exchange will appear. The page identifies each of the offered exchange plans in your state, and whether or not those plans cover elective abortion.
By law, insurance companies on the Obamacare exchanges must disclose whether their plans cover elective abortion. The disclosures should be appearing in each plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage. Unfortunately, there were a few carriers whose number of plans and whether they covered elective abortion were inconclusive. If you find an insurance carrier marked “Unknown,” this means that we have searched their publicly available online documents and contacted them, but still have no clear information about their coverage. We encourage you to contact us at email@example.com if you find any additional or conflicting information regarding the abortion coverage policy of your plan.
December 6, 2019
Transgenderism is a hotel you can check into, but if ideologues have their way, impossible to leave. States and localities are rushing to make it illegal for adults and kids to seek counseling for unwanted sexual and gender confusion.
If you’re a child and you are given puberty blockers, your development will likely be permanently stunted. If you are then given cross-sex hormones, you will be rendered infertile, permanently. If you pay a doctor to sever healthy organs, they are gone.
Such pressing issues were discussed at a recent conference in Manchester, England, the first ever “detransition” conference that also launched a new group, the Detransition Advocacy Network.
Charlie Evans, the Founder of the Network, is a woman who regrets the decade of drugs she took to try to appear as a man. Other detransitioners told their stories. Medical and scientific experts discussed the impact of this ideology on their profession and their patients. Clinical psychologist Anna Hutchinson talked about the grave danger to children of taking that first step, saying that 100 percent of kids who take puberty blockers move on to cross sex hormones.
A central focus of the event was the immense pressure that is put on children to transition, especially those who do not fit a narrow vision of femininity. Once upon a time, tomboys were allowed to be tomboys. In the past, they might have been pressured to identify as lesbian; today they are pressured to reject and mutilate their own bodies. This pressure comes from friends, social media, doctors, counselors, and even misguided parents (who are manipulated, too).
But of course, “sex change” is impossible. It is a fraud. And conference organizers were brave enough to say it, despite tremendous hostility in England toward anyone who challenges the new anti-science orthodoxy.
This is the rise of the “detransitioners.” Let us pray for their success!
Connor Semelsberger, MPP
December 5, 2019
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has once again taken action to protect Americans, this time from disability discrimination. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) initiated an investigation into the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) upon learning that two small children were removed from a mother and father simply because the mother and father had a disability. The children were removed shortly after their birth based on the assumption that the parents would not have the ability to care for the children because of their disability, stripping away their parental rights.
Since the Oregon policy assumed from the children’s birth that a disability prevented the parents from caring for their children, they had to undergo psychological evaluations and participate in parenting classes to prove that they were fit to be parents. Thanks to a local county circuit court dismissing the neglect petition, the parents were finally able to be reunified with their children. If the county court had not stepped in, the Oregon Health Department would not have reunited the family.
These actions prompted OCR to convey major concerns to ODHS with how policies to prevent discrimination against parents with disabilities were being implemented in Oregon. Fortunately, the Oregon health department agreed to comply with federal disability rights laws and update its policies and procedures to create a new disability rights training plan. It is very unfortunate that these parents in Oregon had to go four years without custody of their eldest child simply because state officials decided their disability prevented them from being proper parents without any evidence to prove so. Thankfully, the Office of Civil Rights at HHS investigated this case and worked with the state of Oregon to make systemic changes to their child custody policies so that future parents with disabilities will not have their parental rights taken away.
From enforcing conscience protections for nurses who object to performing abortions, to preventing further sexual abuse at Michigan State University, this is just another example of how President Trump’s HHS has followed through with enforcing all federal anti-discrimination laws, not just ones that fit into his political agenda. An administration should not get to pick and choose which civil rights laws to enforce, but unfortunately there are many federal civil rights laws that are not prioritized and are even forgotten due to political reasons. For example, in 2011, the Obama administration issued new regulations to limit the number of federal conscience protection laws that would be enforced by HHS to only three. This is in stark contrast with a new Trump administration regulation currently pending in the courts to enforce 25 existing conscience protection laws.
Protecting Americans from all types of discrimination has been a priority of the Trump administration from the beginning. Examples like this parental rights case demonstrate that if someone who believes they have been discriminated against files a complaint with OCR, the administration will follow the appropriate civil rights laws and take all complaints seriously.
December 5, 2019
The video is chilling. In a recently released clip from inside a Chinese police station, a lone man sits strapped into a metal cage-like contraption that looks like it is meant to subdue a wild animal, but is actually meant for the interrogation of ordinary citizens. With downcast eyes and a timid voice, he softly answers a series of questions from his interrogators, apologizing for drinking “a bit too much” and speaking “nonsense.” His crime? He apparently made a negative remark or two on social media about the police confiscating motorcycles.
“What’s wrong with the police confiscating motorcycles?” the interrogator demands.
“Nothing wrong with that,” the man feebly responds.
At the end of the video, after repeatedly expressing his sorrow for his “crime” in response to multiple demands by the interrogators to explain himself, the man makes a final plea for mercy. With a bow of his head, he solemnly declares, “Uncle police, I’m so sorry. I’m wrong. I know that now. Please forgive me. I won’t do it again, ever.”
Interrogations like these are now becoming a routine part of life in China. With no civil rights and an encroaching regime that monitors every aspect of daily life, ordinary citizens like this man know that if they say something on social media that the government doesn’t like and say the wrong thing to the police, they could end up in prison, tortured, or killed.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg of the human rights atrocities and abuses that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is perpetrating against its own people. Here is a brief list:
- As we have written about previously, the CCP is forcibly harvesting the organs of religious minorities to fuel an organ industry to the tune of $10-20 billion, which provides up to 85 percent of the world’s organ transplants (more on that later).
- The CCP has been persecuting and executing the traditionally Muslim Uyghurs since at least the 1990’s. Today, over 1.5 million ethnic Uyghurs are currently imprisoned in what the CCP calls “concentrated education and training schools,” in which detainees are subjected to indoctrination sessions, torture, sexual assault, and execution.
- The CCP continues to mandate the number of children couples can have, which recently changed from a one-child to a two-child policy. This system is enforced through exorbitant monetary fines, forced abortions, and forced sterilizations. It is estimated that there have been more than 330 million induced abortions in China since the one-child was first implemented in the early 1980’s. A significant (but unknown) percentage of these abortions were forced.
- The CCP’s reign of terror against religious practitioners has been ongoing since the 1960’s. Currently, religious practice is being suppressed by any means necessary.
- The CCP is implementing a “social credit system” that rates the behavior of Chinese citizens so that their ranking fluctuates up and down. Depending on your score, you can be banned from buying plane and train tickets, your children can be banned from attending the best schools, you can be denied jobs, and you can be publicly named a “bad citizen,” among a host of other injustices.
As these human rights atrocities and abuses illustrate, China is in fact a criminal state. The final report compiled by the China Tribunal (which amassed definitive evidence of forced organ harvesting that has and is currently happening in China) makes this conclusion:
Governments and any who interact in any substantial way with the PRC [People’s Republic of China] including:
- Doctors and medical institutions;
- Industry, and businesses, most specifically airlines, travel companies, financial services businesses, law firms and pharmaceutical and insurance companies together with individual tourists,
- Educational establishments;
- Arts establishments
should now recognise that they are, to the extent revealed above, interacting with a criminal state.
FRC could not agree more. Organizations like the NBA, Hollywood, and other industries that have conveniently ignored the human rights atrocities and abuses committed by the CCP for financial gain must answer to the fact that they are dealing with a criminal state. And as we have repeatedly pointed out, the United States must address these atrocities and abuses in its current and future trade and diplomatic dealings with the CCP.