Posted on January 28, 2014 Issues: Abortion

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 7, a bill that would force individuals and small businesses to drop comprehensive insurance plans that cover abortion or pay higher taxes. The bill could have a ripple effect and lead the entire private insurance market to drop abortion coverage, endangering women’s health and placing particular burdens on low- and moderate-income women.

In addition, this bill harms women who have an abortion to prevent severe and permanent damage to their health; requires insurance plans to mislead women about the cost of purchasing plans that cover abortion by requiring them to say that there is an “abortion surcharge” for such plans when there is no such thing; permanently bars any federal health insurance plan from covering nearly all abortions, particularly burdening low-income women; and permanently prohibits the District of Columbia from using local tax revenue to offer abortion coverage for women who otherwise could not afford it.

The following statement is from National Women’s Law Center Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights Judy Waxman:

“Members of Congress passed a dangerous and misleading bill that has one goal: eliminating insurance coverage of abortion. This bill could result in women losing comprehensive insurance coverage that includes abortion and being stigmatized for seeking such plans. If these politicians were truly concerned about helping women and their families, they would stop targeting reproductive health care and instead focus on creating jobs and improving the education system—initiatives that would actually benefit women and their families.

“We urge the Senate to stand for women’s health and reproductive rights by not taking up this harmful bill.”

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