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House Passes No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

By Renee Botelho, SIECUS Intern

Introduced in the House on May 14th, 2013, H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, was passed by a 227 to 188 vote on January 28, 2014.[1] Among multiple provisions, the crux of the bill states that “none of the funds authorized or appropriated by Federal Law… shall be expended for health benefits that includes coverage of abortion.”[2]

H.R. 7 would make permanent the long-standing rule of separating public funding from abortion services, known as the Hyde Amendment. Originally passed in 1976, Congress excluded abortion from the services offered through Medicaid, with current exceptions for cases of rape, incest or if the woman’s life is in danger.[3] Additionally, women in the Peace Corps, federal prisoners, and military personnel are affected by this rule.[4] An ACLU study of the effect of this rule showed that “60 percent of women on Medicaid were often forced to divert money that would otherwise be used to pay their daily and monthly expenses…” in order to pay for abortions.[5]

Beyond codifying the Hyde Amendment, H.R 7 is intertwined with the changing climate of health insurance coverage since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). H.R. 7 includes provisions that would take away the tax credits available to small business employers and employees if their plans include coverage for abortion.[6] This means insurance plans that include coverage for abortion would no longer be considered qualified health plans eligible to receive subsidies provided under the ACA. Additionally, insurance companies with plans that cover abortions would be required to display this coverage in all marketing and other materials, while a similar requirement for plans’ other services does not exist.[7]

Organizations committed to ensuring access to all forms of sexual and reproductive health services, including SIECUS, oppose H.R. 7. Beyond the inherent infringement upon the reproductive rights of women, the restrictions within H.R. 7 could lead to insurance companies dropping abortion coverage, leaving a gap in insuring specific health needs of women across the country.

While the bill has passed the House, it will likely not progress further in the Senate. Following the House passage of H.R. 7, the president issued a statement of strong opposition and indicated he would be likely to veto the measure were it to come across his desk.[8]


[1]Congress.gov, H.R. 7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, accessed January 29, 2014 at http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/7?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr7%22%5D%7D.

[2]Ibid.

[3]ACLU, “Public Funding for Abortion,” ACLU, July 21, 2004, accessed January 29, 2014 at   https://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/public-funding-abortion.

[4]Ibid.

[5]Ibid.

[6]Congress.gov, H.R. 7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, accessed January 29, 2014 at http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/7?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr7%22%5D%7D.

[7]Ibid.

[8]Executive Office of the President, “H.R 7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” Office of Management and Budget, January 27, 2014, accessed on January 29, 2014 at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr7h_20140127.pdf.

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