by Emily Minick
January 28, 2014
Today the House debated and passed H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) controlled debate today on the House floor and defended the will of an overwhelming majority of Americans who are opposed to paying for other people’s abortions and want the government to be neutral when it comes to the funding of abortion.
This bill is extremely simple- it would permanently codify the Hyde Amendment, and other pro-life provisions, in federal law and across government programs.
Some may ask, “Why is this bill necessary since the Hyde Amendment is currently law”?
The answer to this is very clear, the passage of H.R. 7 is necessary because each year the Hyde Amendment needs to be re-authorized. Additionally, Obamacare bypasses the Hyde Amendment and directly appropriates funds to assist individuals, via the form of tax credits, in purchasing healthcare which could include abortion coverage.
Obamacare violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment, despite the President’s claim that the passage of his signature law would not violate Hyde’s principles.
Even with the Hyde Amendment’s annual renewal, there have been times in recent history where the government has funded abortion. Hyde doesn’t cover other funding streams outside of the Department of Health and Human Services and Medicaid. Despite the fact that Hyde was in effect, in 2009 Congress failed to include the Dornan Amendment, which prohibits government funds from paying for abortions in the District of Columbia, and for a period of a year and a half taxpayers paid for 300 abortions totaling $185,000. This, despite the fact that Hyde was in effect.
The principles of the Hyde Amendment need to be permanently codified and applied across federal funding streams.
Besides the fact that Obamacare bypasses the Hyde Amendment and uses taxpayer dollars to assist individuals in paying for abortions, it also prevents individuals from knowing whether or not a healthcare plan includes abortion coverage, until after they already pay and enroll. Transparency is necessary to good governance and lawmaking. H.R. 7 would require that whether or not a plan covers abortion be prominently displayed at the time of enrollment, so individuals can make an informed decision.
As we saw today on the House floor, opponents of the bill can make up a lot of excuses as to why this bill should not pass, yet they fail to address the issue at hand, the issue of eliminating the taxpayer’s role in abortion.
Nothing in this bill would prevent a woman from having an abortion, purchasing a healthcare plan which includes abortion coverage with her own funds, or prohibit women in the District of Columbia from having an abortion.
For over 30 years the Hyde Amendment has recognized that abortion is not healthcare, and thus the taxpayer should have no role in the funding of abortion. This bill applies these principles across the government. Today the people’s house voted to protect taxpayers, women and their unborn children.