Back in January – a day after the Republican-led House of Reps (symbolically) voted in favor of repealing Health Care Reform – Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), introduced H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” Smith is chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus.
The House is scheduled to vote on this bill tomorrow.
What the bill would essentially do is make existing abortion restrictions permanent law; currently, those restrictions need to be renewed each year (via the Hyde Amendment). Smith said the bill 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."
H.R. 3 would also ban coverage of abortion in the new health-care exchange system and impose tax penalties on Americans with private insurance plans that include abortion coverage. Currently, 87% of private plans currently include abortion coverage.
Several amendments to the bill were introduced…and subsequently rejected by the House majority, such as an exemption for women with cancer who need life saving treatment incompatible with continuing the pregnancy.
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H.R. 3 takes away health care access from the uninsured and moves our country backward, not forward. Low-income women and women of color will be disproportionately affected if this bill becomes law.