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Pro-life Leaders Call for Governor Otter and the Idaho Legislature to Ban the Abortion Drug ELLA from State Health Exchanges

Leaders ask for Idaho's elected officials to uphold the State's life affirming standard

Contact: Julie Lynde, Executive Director, Cornerstone Family Council Idaho, 208-954-3222; Brandi Swindell  Founder/CEO Stanton Health Care, 208-867-1307; David Ripley, Executive Director, Idaho Chooses Life, 208-344-8709; Jason Herring, President, Right to Life of Idaho, 208-869-3335; Kerry Uhlenkott, Legislative Coordinator Right to Life Idaho, 208-983-7275

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 16, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- In an e-mail dated November 7, 2013, Governor Otter's office confirmed to Idaho's Pro-Life Community that chemical abortion is available through health insurance plans sold by Idaho's state based health exchange.  Idaho's plans DO include coverage for the abortion inducing drug, ELLA.

Idahoans are now forced to comply with Obamacare's HHS mandates issued by executive Kathleen Sebelius.

ELLA is chemically and functionally similar to Mifepristone (RU-486), the FDA approved abortion drug.  They share identical modes of action.  They share serious, substantial safety concerns for women's health.

Early in 2013, the architects and proponents of Idaho's state based exchange were aware that Idaho taxpayers would be forced to pay for this abortion inducing drug.  Many even rejected a pro-life bill to protect Idahoan's freedom of conscience and reclaim some state sovereignty in the state health exchange.  This would have protected citizens from being coerced to foot the bill for the morally objectionable process of abortion.

We were told that the state exchange would give us a seat at HHS table.  Ms. Sebellius apparently demands that Idaho be seen and not heard.

Women deserve to know that a prescription drug could cause an abortion.  Women deserve to know that ELLA could cause serious complications for their health.

Pharmacists have an ethical right to know that ELLA may cause an abortion.  And they deserve to know that drugs like ELLA have serious, documented health risks; including blood transfusion and death.

Taxpayers have a right to be free from being coerced to pay for actions that violate their conscience.

Brandi Swindell, President and Founder of Stanton Healthcare a life-affirming medical clinic, states;

    "It is extremely troubling that the citizens of Idaho will be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs through the state's health exchanges.  Governor Otter's office has confirmed that the drug ELLA will be included in the exchanges.  ELLA is an abortifaciant, which destroys an innocent life.

    "The citizens and especially the women of Idaho deserve better than having to violate their consciences, core beliefs and faith values by having to pay for abortion inducing drugs.  We agree with the overwhelming majority of Americans that abortion is not health care and shouldn't be included in any coverage."

    Julie Lynde, Executive Director of Cornerstone Family Council said,

    "Offering ELLA in the state health exchange is contrary to Idaho's stated commitment preferring live birth over abortion. It is contrary to who we are in Idaho. 

    "Forcing Idahoans to become financially complicit in something they find morally repugnant is despicable.  ELLA is the chemical cousin of RU-486 & has serious safety risks for women.  HHS is keeping Idaho women in the dark and endangering  their health to promote the abortion industry's radical agenda. 

    "Idaho leaders must stand up for Idaho citizens and stand against the HHS political ideology that is trampling the great state of Idaho."
Kerry Uhlenkott, Legislative Coordinator Right to Life of Idaho said,
    "The emergency contraceptive, ELLA , is an abortifacient because it can prevent the implantation of a newly-conceived embryo. Even Dr. James Trussell, a member of Planned Parenthood's national Medical committee and one of the leading authorities on emergency contraception, has said that doctors have a duty to inform women that emergency contraception could prevent a newly conceived embryo from implanting in the womb, causing an abortion. *

    "Since the emergency contraceptive, ELLA, has the potential for causing the death of a newly conceived human child, it is dead wrong for citizens in Idaho to be forced to violate their conscience by having to pay for this abortion-inducing drug."
David Ripley, Executive Director of Idaho Chooses Life said:
    "The confirmation of Idaho's insurance exchange being involved in funding abortion-causing drugs is very disturbing, and would seem to violate Idaho Law. This is why we pushed so hard last year for the Religious Liberty Amendment (to the state exchange)  It's impossible for Idaho to partner with ObamaCare without becoming enmeshed in President Obama's agenda to expand both abortion and tax-funded support of the Abortion Industry. The Legislature must revisit the question of protecting Idaho citizens.  They have no business helping Obama trample our First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty."
Jason Herring, Pastor and President of Right to Life Idaho said;
    "The citizens of Idaho need to be aware of the fact that Ella is a potential abortifacient. By the FDA's own admission Ella can disrupt a pregnancy after ovulation has occurred. If we hold that life begins at conception then we must protect life at all stages of development.

    "At four weeks into the pregnancy a child is the size of a poppy seed. That's incredibly small, and yet at one time we were all that size with a world of potential and possibilities awaiting us. If faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, then microscopic faith the size of a human cell is all it takes to respect life in its beginning."
In response to this, we…the united pro-life community in Idaho…. call upon Governor Otter and the Idaho legislature to embrace quality health care, respect the taxpayers of Idaho, protect and respect the women of Idaho, and protect innocent human life by banning ELLA from all state health exchanges.