House To Take Up "No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion" Act


Perhaps you’ve suppressed memory of the enlightening debate over the “forcible rape” provision in HR3, the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion” Act. Republicans may have acquiesced on that point, but the bill itself is back and expected to be voted on this week.

HR3 is a pet cause of uber-anti-choice Rep. Christopher Smith. You can read the text of it here, but it boils down to this: Though the Hyde Amendment already prevents federal money from paying for abortion except in extremely limited circumstances, this bill would also disincentivize private insurers from covering abortion by denying tax benefits to all plans that do. If made law, it could have even more overreaching impact: As Mother Jones reported, it would also force the IRS to verify, in its audits, whether any subject of an audit had inappropriately gotten tax benefits from abortion care. The chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee testified before the House:

If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.

A similar burden of proof might apply to use of a Health Savings Account to pay for an abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights also says that HR would “force women to report their abortions to their employers.”

Enter the Republicans’ “pro-family” allies, including the Family Research Council, which is running ads that sweepingly claim that “Obamacare” overturns the Hyde Amendment when it does no such thing:

“For 35 years, the Hyde Amendment has protected federal tax dollars from being used for abortion. Obamacare changed that,” says the narrator, introducing a recording of the late Rep. Henry Hyde saying that “abortion is a lethal assault against the very idea of human rights and destroys, along with a defenseless little baby, the moral foundation of our democracy.”

The final hearing for the bill in the House is scheduled for today at 5pm. It could be on the floor by the middle of this week.

Text Of HR3 [Open Congress]
A Huge Step Back [CRR]
Family Research Council Expands HR3 Push [Politico]
Earlier: Republicans Give Up On Forcible Rape But Bill Still Stucks
The Truth About “Redefining Rape

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