H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, represents a grave threat to safe, legal and accessible abortion. In addition to restricting the use of private funds paying for private health insurance plans that cover abortion care, it would permanently write into law an extremist approach to banning federal funding for abortion. Adding dangerous insult to injury, H.R. 3 would narrow rape and incest exceptions.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would codify a collection of federal abortion funding restrictions referred to as the Hyde Amendment. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funding for abortion care is segregated from all other forms of health care and severely restricted. This grave injustice puts women's health and lives at risk and disproportionately harms women of color. Currently, these restrictions must be re-approved annually through the appropriations process. But H.R. 3 would establish Hyde as the law of the land. While groups like NOW campaign to repeal Hyde, leave it to the conservatives to try to make it permanent.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would also restrict coverage of abortion care more radically than the new health insurance reform law does. If H.R. 3 passes, employers would incur tax penalties for providing health insurance that offers abortion coverage. In addition, individuals would incur tax penalties for carrying private insurance that includes abortion coverage.
Cruelly, H.R. 3 narrows rape exceptions currently present in the Hyde Amendment to only "forcible" rapes. Does the radical right believe "forcible" rape includes date rape, rape occurring as a result of being drugged by a perpetrator, while a woman is intoxicated or asleep, after consent has been withdrawn or while a woman does her best not to get further injured or killed? No, they don't -- and now they want to further attack women who have been sexually assaulted.
House Speaker John Boehner has identified the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act as a "highest priority." We must stop it.