On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 7). The House’s vote is the first step to permanently prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortions in the U.S. If the bill also passes in the Senate, it will move to President Trump, whose office has already communicated his inclination to sign the bill into law.
For over 30 years, the Hyde amendment has ensured federal funds—except in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger—have not been used for abortion coverage, directly. HR 7 would make this amendment permanent.
According to the Republican Policy Committee’s Summary of the bill, HR 7 does the following:
H.R. 7 prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion or health plans that cover abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. H.R. 7 prohibits abortions at facilities owned or operated by the federal government, and prevents federal employees from performing abortions within the scope of their employment.
H.R. 7 prohibits premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) from being granted for health plans that include elective abortion coverage. H.R. 7 also prohibits small business tax credits authorized under PPACA for health plans offered by an employer that include elective abortion coverage.
Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) is the sponsor of the bill and has advocated for it the two other times it has come up to a vote in the House. In 2014 and 2015, the bill passed in the House, but failed to pass the Senate and thus was not signed into law.
The passing of the bill in the House comes just days prior to the March for Life, which will draw thousands of pro-life advocates to Washington and other cities on Friday.
*Image source: Facebook/March for Life