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Republicans Introduce “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act”

Republicans Introduce “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act”

In the wake of their successful vote to repeal health care reform, House Republicans turned their attention to abortion. Yesterday, New Jersey Representative and Pro-Life Caucus chairman Chris Smith (R) introduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which according to Rep. Smith is “designed to permanently end any U.S. government financial support for abortion, whether it be direct funding or by tax credits or any other subsidy.”

There is already a no-federal-funding-for-abortion law on the books, the Hyde Amendment, but it must be renewed on a yearly basis.

According to NPR, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” would go even further than the Hyde Amendment by eliminating tax subsidies on any private insurance policy that covers abortion. This means that not only will public sources of health insurance like Medicaid not cover abortions, private insurers will be penalized for providing their customers with comprehensive reproductive health coverage.

“Sanctity of Life?”

House Speaker John Boehner, who designated the bill H.R. 3 to signal it is a top priority, said in a press conference with Rep. Smith that the bill was important to Republican leadership because “our members feel very strongly about the sanctity of human life. We listened to the American people.”

Rep. Smith is quoted by CBS News as saying in the same press conference that the bill means taxpayers will “no longer [be] coerced…to subsidize the killing of an unborn child.”

The irony of Republicans declaring their commitment to the “sanctity of life” even as they vigorously attempt to dismantle health care reform intended to support the lives and well-being of pregnant women, mothers, infants, and children appears — unsurprisingly — to be lost on them. 
Pro-choice advocates like NARAL Pro-Choice America’s president Nancy Keenan also points out that the recent election was hardly a referendum on abortion, querying rhetorically, “What happened to the jobs agenda? How many people will be employed as part of their campaign to attack a woman’s right to choose?”

Even More Harm To Women
If this bill is the same as the version Rep. Smith introduced to the 111th Congress in July 2010, it goes well beyond the Hyde Amendment. If that version becomes law, here are some of the women whose access to abortion will be permanently restricted if this bill passes:

  • Low-income women receiving Medicaid insurance.
  • Federal employees.
  • Native American women seeking care at Indian Health Service facilities.
  • Peace Corps volunteers.
  • Women in federal prison.
  • Women in the military, and female family members of military personnel.
  • Low-income women in Washington, D.C. In 2009, Congress lifted the ban on the District of Columbia using its own local funds to subsidize abortions for low-income women; this bill would reimpose the ban. 
  • Women receiving subsidized insurance who have serious but non-life-threatening health conditions that could worsen if a pregnancy is carried to term — the bill doesn’t have a mother’s health exception unless she’s “in danger of death.” 
  • Women receiving subsidized insurance who are pregnant with a fetus with severe anamolies, even if it is unlikely to survive — the bill doesn’t have an exception for them, either.
  • Any woman whose doctor, nurse, or possibly even pharmacist invokes “conscientious protections” allowing him or her to refuse to participate in any abortion-related procedure. In some interpretations, this might include refusing to dispense emergency contraception or hormonal birth control pills.

(Sources: Guttmacher Institute, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Center For American Progress, Fox News, July Version of “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act”.)

And of course, the crux of H.R. 3 is not just that it will prevent federal funds from being spent directly on abortion, but that it will impose tax penalties on private insurers who cover abortion and on employers who offer insurance plans, including abortion coverage. Given that this could make it too expensive for private insurers to carry abortion coverage, the list could soon include:

  • Any woman, insured or uninsured, who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for a legal medical procedure that the Supreme Court says she has a right to access without “undue burden.” 

Take Action: Tell Congress to Stop Attacking Women’s Rights 
Please join me in signing a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives registering your opposition to this bill. While the bill is unlikely to become law as long as the Senate and White House remain in Democrat’s hands, it is important for Congress to see that they don’t have a “mandate” to attack women’s rights.

In addition, consider taking a few minutes to call or email your Congressperson — hearing from you directly will make even more of an impact. This is especially important if you’re from a swing state or you know that your Representative has a mixed record on reproductive rights issues!

Related Stories: 

13-Year-Old Performs Abortion at Home: Time to Rethink Parental Notification Laws

The Deadly Impact of the Philippines Abortion Ban (VIDEO)

Mother Denied Cancer Treatment Because of Abortion Ban

 

Read more: , , , , , , , , ,

Photo of a coat hanger was taken from Demion's flickr, and is reused with thanks under Creative Commons Licensing. To the best of my knowledge, the photographer was not intending to make any statement about abortion with this photograph.

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201 comments

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5:43AM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

"Steph" you are just lying about the bill, it is ONLY about defunding PP which 80% of funds go to abortion clinics. the clips about how they lie to ppl are all over the internet.
But if you will not believe it out of PP workers own mouths, then you will never believe it.

5:38AM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

What is wrong with passing laws that force abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory hospitals? That means more licensed staff, better sanitation, bigger rooms, and cutting-edge equipment. To most of us, that only sounds logical. But to abortion clinics, the bulk of which cut corners to make a profit, it represents a huge hurdle in doing business. For them, the emphasis has always been on revenue, not patient safety. When they're asked to comply with strict new health standards, most would rather shut down than protect women.

1:10PM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Don, tax money goes to MANY things which MANY people might not fund personally....wars, for example, invasions and arts funding which I might consider hideous. But, you don't get to pick and choose. You elect your officials and you pay your taxes.

Frankly, I'm annoyed because I have to pay more taxes than I should since YOUR CHURCH gets a tax break!

Get over it....it's the right to privacy and medical decisions between a woman and her doctor. You don't get to interfere in that.

10:05AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Don,

Perhaps asking the question: "how much gov't funding to Planned Parenthood is used for abortion services?" would be appropriate.

I've got an answer for you "0". Nada, no tax payer dollars. The Hyde ammendment covers your concern.

The cut currently proposed, that wipes out all gov't funding of Planned Parenthood, is used for service OTHER than abortion. Things like contraception and reproduction health information that assists in AVOIDING abortion. HIV/Aids testing, and cancer screenings (pap smears), etc.

Seems a little contradictory of the Republicans to cut this funding if they want to see abortions decrease.

The bill referenced in this article penalizes insurance companies for covering abortion services (in other words, they'll either not cover it any more or my premiums will go up as they pass the penalty onto consumers). It's also saying that insurance coverage offered to gov't employees can't cover abortion. And that's just absurd.

2:15PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

The simple fact is that most Americans do NOT want their tax dollars spent paying for abortions. PP receives more than enough money from sources other than tax dollars to perform their services (including killing unborn children). Maybe those of you who feel PP needs more funding, should be willing to donate your own money to support the services PP provides. I'm not certain, but those donations may even be tax deductable.

For those of you who feel it's your right to choose to kill your unborn child, ... feel free to do it, .... just DON'T expect me or any other tax payer to foot the bill for you. We tax payers are not responsible for getting you pregnant, so why should we have to foot the bill?

Planned Parenthood does have services that can be of benefit to society, BUT, .... using MY/OUR taxes to pay for the abortions they so willingly offer, is not acceptable.

5:50AM PST on Mar 2, 2011

Wow Roberta, I just watched your videos and I have to say I've never seen more blatant misrepresentation of the facts. Only thing I've seen that comes close is those fundie Christians trying to make a case that the earth is only 6k years old.

Again - what Magaret Sanger believed about Eugenics almost 100 years ago has no relationship what so ever to the services Planned Parenthood provides. Tax dollars go to reproductive health, cancer screenings, HIV tests, and contraception.

You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

Again - if you can't come up with anything better than statistical inaccuracie, misrepresentations and ad hominem attacks you have no defensible position.

Planned Parenthood does not 'target' minorities - they provide needed services to minorities and white bread college girls too. The fact that minorities make less money, have less access to health care and are under insured as a group may just have *something* to do with the statistics on abortion rates and minority groups as dubiously represented in the video clip.

Your arguments are pathetic, but if you need to lie to make your point you fail before you start.

10:27AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

None of this is "proof," Roberta...it's just parroting the same old "party line."

10:05AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_MijL7q9eo

10:04AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

How Does Planned Parenthood Celebrate Black History Month? Anti-Abortion Pro-Life Video

10:03AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

Fair enough: http://slapblog.com/?p=8567 Planned Parenthood Accepted Donation For Abortion Of Black Children Only (Video)
How Does Planned Parenthood Celebrate Black History Month? Anti-Abortion Pro-Life Video

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