In fact, the state’s founder, Roger Williams, a conscientious objector himself, once wrote, “Men’s consciences ought in no sort to be violated, urged, or constrained.” That’s why the state Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure to create a health insurance exchange that would have required insurance providers covering elective abortion to separate this coverage and require an additional non-subsidized premium. However, during the last legislative session, the plan could not get the required votes to pass in the House prior to adjournment.
This still left the House time to get the needed votes together. After all, the exchanges need not be operational until Jan. 1, 2014. Most states have not created exchanges yet. So there was plenty of time to let the legislature work through the process of creating an exchange that did not subsidize elective abortions.
But Gov. Chafee refused to let the democratic process run its course. Instead, he unilaterally created an exchange in violation of the Rhode Island Constitution’s separation of powers and without any limitations on abortion subsidies. The Obama administration responded to Gov. Chafee’s unilateral declaration by awarding him $58 million (roughly $58 per person or $58,000 per square mile of Rhode Island) just in start-up funds and consultant fees.
The ultimate constitutional merits of ObamaCare will soon be determined by the Supreme Court. But those worried about the law’s massive shift in regulation of healthcare from the states to federal government should be alarmed about a precedent that takes the lawmaking bodies in the states completely out of the equation.
And those concerned about the potential for abortion subsidies in ObamaCare should rightfully be concerned that this is yet another example of how those friendly to abortion funding in the state and federal governments will ignore legal constraints if it helps them to prevent obstacles to taxpayer funding for elective abortions.
The zealous proponents of the culture of death will not rest in their efforts to force taxpayers to fund their deadly agenda, even at the expense of the separation of powers and rights of conscience.