FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2015
Statement from Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on today’s action in the House:
“The Tea Party-led Congress is desperately trying to save face after being forced to abandon their abortion ban bill yesterday. So what do they do? They substitute a bill that is equally bad policy. H.R.7 will not only limit women’s ability to make health care choices it will also raise taxes on small business who provide comprehensive health care to their employees. Banning abortion and raising taxes on small business share one thing in common: they are about as far as the GOP can get from the priorities of the American people.
Let’s be clear, switching from one bad abortion ban bill to another will not solve their political problem. The problem is not their rhetoric, it’s their policies. If this bill were ever to become law, it would hurt millions. But that will not happen. This bill will not become law.
“Today’s exercise in the House is not about making public policy, nor is it about helping American women and families. It is about catering to a small minority of voters—anti-abortion activists who are descending on Washington for their annual march. It is nothing but a sad waste of time and waste of the faith that voters put in the Republican Party to come up with new solutions to actual problems in 2015.
“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, today’s action in the House is a vivid reminder of the constant attack women are under from politicians who—unlike most Americans—refuse to trust us and allow us to control our own bodies and make our own decisions about our lives.”
Warning: This Bill Is Not What You Think. Here is the Truth:
- Far more sweeping in scope than its name implies, the legislation is not about only public funding. It would indeed, permanently codify all the current-law abortion bans, such as the Hyde Amendment. That alone makes it totally unacceptable. However, this bill goes much further:
- It revives the failed Stupak-Pitts amendment to the ACA, effectively banning abortion coverage in the new health system, even for women in state insurance exchanges who use their own, private funds to pay for their insurance. Experts have stated this could also jeopardize the availability of private insurance coverage of abortion for all women in all private health plans nationwide.
- It imposes tax penalties on small businesses that choose private health plans that cover abortion care, with the goal of driving consumers away from these plans. (Absent political interference, 87 percent of private plans cover abortion services.)
- It permanently blocks abortion coverage for low-income women, civil servants, D.C. residents, and military women by recodifying anti-choice riders that reside elsewhere throughout federal law. Congress should be repealing these unfair and discriminatory abortion bans, not recodifying them.
- It bans coverage of abortion services for women insured by multi-state health plans under the ACA—private health-insurance plans which offer consumers a uniform array of health benefits in every state in which they operate.
- And it mandates health plans to make biased, one-sided “disclosures” of abortion coverage and force plans to mislead consumers about the health-care law’s treatment of abortion coverage. (Note: these are terrible policy proposals, clearly designed to make unavailable abortion coverage in the private market. However, their inclusion in this bill is particularly perplexing; whether through drafting error or malintent, the provisions reference a section of the ACA that the bill also happens to repeal.)
Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice America released polling from key congressional districts showing how toxic the 20- week abortion issue is for Republicans.
The poll found:
- The overwhelming majority (66-75%) of voters support legal abortion.
- The majority of voters (56-61%) will be less likely to vote for the representative if they vote in favor of the 20-week abortion ban.
- Focusing on restricting abortion at 20 weeks does not reflect the priorities of the voters.