The House passed (238-183) H.R.7 that would permanently prohibit federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services or health insurance plans that include abortion coverage. It also would prohibit the District of Columbia from using its own local funds to provide or pay for abortions. Individuals and small businesses also could not receive tax credits under the 2010 health care law related to purchases of health insurance plans that include abortion coverage. The bill would require the Office of Personnel Management to ensure that, starting in 2018, no multistate qualified health plan offered in a state insurance exchange provides coverage that includes abortion. The provisions would not apply to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or to situations where the woman would die unless an abortion is performed.
H.R. 7 does not prohibit the purchase of separate abortion coverage, as long as it is paid for entirely with non-federal funds. The bill also states that it does not prohibit non-federal health insurance providers from offering abortion coverage, and does not prohibit states and localities from contracting separately for such coverage, as long as non-federal funds are used. H.R. 7 does not preempt other federal laws limiting the use of federal funds for abortion or health plans that cover abortion.
For over 30 years, a patchwork of policies has regulated Federal funding for abortion. Amendments have been added to various appropriations bills (which have been signed into law) that would prohibit the Federal funding of abortions through the programs funded by those appropriations bills. But now is the time for Congress to pass one piece of legislation that prohibits Federal funding of elective abortion, no matter where in the Federal system that funding might occur. H.R. 7, with the exception of a few narrow categories that have been accepted for many years, provides that the Federal Government should not make taxpayers pay for abortions or insurance coverage that includes abortion.
The American people overwhelmingly oppose Federal funding of abortions. At the height of public debate over what became known as the Obamacare law, a recent poll found that 76% of Americans said that Federal funds should never pay for abortion or should pay only to save the life of the mother.
H.R. 7, the ``No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,'' changes existing law in ways that will endanger the health of women and deprive them of their constitutionally-protected right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term. The proponents of this bill seek to substantially restrict the existing Hyde Amendment exception that permits funding in cases of rape to exclude assistance for children and teenagers who are the victims of statutory rape. H.R. 7 also extends current funding restrictions that are limited in time and scope and applies them to all Federal laws, without any effort to determine how such a sweeping and permanent expansion would impact American women and their families. And, contrary to the misleading title of the bill, this legislation is not needed to achieve what has already long been accomplished: Congress has prohibited the use of Federal funds for abortion for more than three decades. Although this bill is advertised as reinforcing existing law, in truth, H.R. 7 goes beyond current law. It applies the federal tax code to the issue of abortion and restricts the private insurance choices that consumers have today."