Abortion and Key Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
Thomas C. Berg*
The effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on abortion has been the subject of much controversy, and pro-life members of Congress who voted for PPACA have received strong criticism as well as strong praise. This memorandum has three purposes. First, it provides a brief reminder that PPACA contains many provisions reflecting pro-life values and having pro-life effects. Second, it assesses the two major criticisms of PPACA concerning abortion raised by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Although the USCCB has been the most detailed and thoughtful critic of the statute on abortion-related matters, this memorandum concludes that there are convincing answers to the USCCB
A. The Pro-Life Elements of PPACA
First, it is worth briefly remembering the numerous elements of PPACA that reflect pro-life values or will have pro-life effects. These positive pro-life benefits would have been lost had the health-care reform effort failed.
PPACA enacts multiple forms of support for pregnant women and for childbirth, measures supported by the USCCB and other pro-life groups. For example, sections 10212 and 10213 provide funds to colleges for a variety of pregnancy and parenting resources for students