Aggressive Anti-Abortion Legislation Faces House Vote

topic posted Thu, May 5, 2011 - 8:28 AM by  Rocky
Aggressive Anti-Abortion Legislation Faces House Vote

H.R. 3, Wide-Sweeping Anti-Abortion Bill, Facing House Vote

"WASHINGTON - A closer look at a House bill marketed to the public as a "common-sense" ban on taxpayer-funded abortions reveals an aggressive, multi-pronged effort to restrict insurance coverage for and reduce access to abortion.

H.R. 3, also known as the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act," would go beyond making the Hyde Amendment, which has already banned federally-funded abortions for the past 30 years, a permanent federal law. The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), would also enact strict procedural requirements for private insurance companies that cover abortions and deny tax credits to small businesses that purchase health insurance plans offering abortion coverage. Eight-seven percent of private insurance plans currently include such coverage.

Further, H.R. 3 would eliminate privately funded insurance coverage for abortion in the state-based exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. The policy team at NARAL Pro-Choice America estimates that 13.5 million women who receive health coverage through Medicaid and other government-sponsored programs would permanently lose access to abortion coverage if the measure, facing a floor vote Wednesday, passes.

Some of the more extreme ramifications of the bill, which have attracted a great deal of negative media attention since its introduction in January, include a provision that could subject victims of rape and incest to abortion audits by the IRS. Mother Jones reported in March that H.R. 3 could turn IRS agents into "abortion cops" tasked with determining whether a woman used any kind of tax benefit to pay for a procedure not precipitated by rape or incest........."

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