Anti-abortion groups leapt into action last month when the National Right to Life Committee warned that elective abortions would be covered under a Pennsylvania insurance program created by the health care reform law.
The Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council blasted the news to the media and supporters. NRLC began scouring other state plans for similar provisions. Top congressional Republicans sent a letter of protest to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
And within a day, the anti-abortion groups got what they wanted: a nationwide ban on coverage for most elective abortions in the so-called high-risk insurance pools, a position reaffirmed in a Health and Human Services regulation released on Thursday.
Abortion rights advocates were caught completely off-guard.