Rep. Bachmann: Obama Decreed That "Free Morning-After Abortion Pills" Be Given Out
With tonight's Iowa caucuses looming over her floundering campaign, presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox News bright and early this morning to scramble for last-minute support. Per usual, the case she made for her own electability was light on factual information. Claiming she's the best candidate to take on President Obama, Bachmann stated that "this is the first time in the history of the country when we have free morning-after abortion pills that are given out because the President of the United States said so."
BACHMANN: Well, with all of the candidates and with all due respect to the candidates, where were they during the fight for Obamacare? I was taking that fight on. Taking it to President Obama. Leading 40,000 people to oppose it. This is the first time in the history of the country when we have taxpayer-funded abortion. This is the first time in the history of the country when we have free morning-after abortion pills that are given out because the President of the United States said so. We need to get rid of this bill but we also need to get rid of the jobs and housing destruction act called Dodd-Frank. I saw this ahead of time, how destructive these bills would be.
Bachmann is presumably referring to a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services — not the president — to adopt guidelines requiring new health insurance plans to provide preventive health care services for women, including emergency contraception, with no copay. HHS was following the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine. Contrary to what some radical opponents of reproductive health care claim, the morning-after pill does not induce abortion; it prevents pregnancy by preventing fertilization or implantation.
And Bachmann's suggestion that the Obama administration has been an enthusiastic proponent of widely accessible emergency contraception is way off base. In December, the secretary of Health and Human Services overruled a Food and Drug Administration recommendation that Plan B, one of three brands of emergency contraception approved in the U.S., be available over the counter to girls younger than 17. Currently, those 17 and older can get it without a prescription.
It's worth noting that Bachmann's claim about "taxpayer-funded abortion" is also false; the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal tax dollars from paying for abortions, was not disrupted by the Affordable Care Act.