“The policy has likely given the gift to America of millions more children,consequently millions more mothers and millions more fathers,” Rep. Robert Goodlatte,R-Va.,the committee chair, said.
Nine amendments proposed by House Democrats centered on abortion options for women suffering from health issues. Democrats also wanted full disclosure between doctors and their patients to be included in their care and a report by the attorney general to be filed on how lack of federal money would affect women’s access to abortion and health-care benefits.
All the committee Republicans present voted for the bill,and all the Democrats voted against it.
Several Democrats voiced concern about lack of women’s insurance coverage in general.
“This bill would deny tax deductions and credits to women who use their own money to pay for abortions or to purchase insurance that covers abortion,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler,D-N.Y.,said. “Insurance companies will respond to the tax penalties this bill imposes by dropping coverage for abortions from all of their plans.”
“It is a standard law that you do not use taxpayer dollars for utilizing a woman’s right to choose,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee,D-Texas,said. “But this bill says you cannot use your own money and in fact,we will tax you,we will penalize you.”
If approved by the House and Senate,the bill will continue to enforce the 1976 Hyde Amendment in addition to prohibiting federally funded abortions unless the woman becomes pregnant through rape or incest,or to preserve her life. It could also eliminate certain tax benefits relating to abortion.
Disapproval of Republican views for the bill was echoed by many Democratic members.
“My colleagues in the majority believe that if you like your insurance coverage,you should get to keep it,unless it is for choices that they don’t like,” Nadler said. “Then,they have no qualms about taking your coverage away.”
Reach reporter Caitlin Turner at [email protected] or 202-326-9865. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.