HR 3, the "No Tax Payer Funding for Abortion Act," will go to the House floor for a vote this afternoon. The bill, which purports to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and ensure that healthcare reform law does not cover the cost of abortions, is misleading and dangerous. HR 3 goes way beyond the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited federal funding of abortion since 1976.
Donna Crane, policy director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, stated, "The statement about 'no taxpayer funding' is a complete nonsequitur. Public funding sadly is not available for women today for abortion care, period. No piece of legislation could make it more banned than it already is."
If passed, the bill would permanently ban women in the military from obtaining an abortion in a military hospital overseas, even if they pay for it with their own (not federal) money. Moreover, Americans who have private insurance plans that include abortion coverage would have to pay tax penalties, and federal workers who pay their own insurance premiums out of pocket would nonetheless be prohibited from having abortion coverage in their insurance. HR 3 would take the premium assistance promised by health reform away from people who choose a private insurance plan with abortion coverage.
NARAL Pro-Choice America states that approximately 13.5 million women who get health coverage through Medicaid and other federally sponsored programs would lose access to abortion services if this act would become law.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 5/4/11; Mother Jones 5/4/11; NARAL Pro-Choice America 5/3/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/9/11