House Passes Bill to Ban Indirect Federal Funding of Abortion

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The bill would prohibit government subsidies for healthcare plans that cover abortions.

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The United States House of Representatives passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) by a 251-175 vote last month. The bill would prohibit government subsidies for healthcare plans that include abortion coverage.

H.R. 3 would remove personal deductions for abortion expenses as well as refundable credits for premiums paid to plans including abortion services. H.R. 3 would also eliminate small employer health insurance expense credits, which under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are designed to encourage small businesses to provide health coverage for plans that include abortion services.

Further, the bill would remove all tax subsidies for private health coverage plans that include abortion services, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with private funds.

Introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) in January 2011, H.R. 3 aims to make permanent the Hyde Amendment (HR 1105, Division F, Title V, Sec. 507-508), an annual rider first passed in 1976 that prevents federal funds from being used to pay for abortions.

A potential consequence of H.R. 3 may be the elimination of abortion coverage from many private health plans due to the loss of federal funding for non-abortion services.

The Obama Administration “strongly opposes” H.R. 3.