HR3 = Istook Amendment on Steroids


Do any of you remember Ernest Istook?  Well, in the ’90s when he was a GOP member of the US House from Olahoma’s 5th district, he wrote an abortion amendment that thankfully failed.  HR3, the current GOP-proposed Abortion bill is the equivalent of the Istook Amendment on Steroids!  If you do nothing else today, take the time to watch this 8-minute explanation … and then let what David Waldman has to say sink in.

For a party that claims they want to assure liberty and freedom for all, their underlying language of this bill would engrain government into the lives of each and every American who takes any type of tax deduction.  It’s not just about ‘Abortion’ … they could ultimately prohibit you from being able to spend your own money on any number of activities, programs, services, etc.

HR 3 was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ4).  Click here to down­load this sum­ma­ry (pdf).

H.R. 3 takes a num­ber of steps be­yond the Hyde Amend­ment in both struc­ture and sub­stance. Specifics in­clude:

  • Cod­i­fies the Hyde Amend­ment con­cept into fed­er­al law;
  • Ex­tends the ban to any health care plan that ac­cepts fed­er­al funds, re­gard­less of whether those par­tic­u­lar funds are being used to pro­vide abor­tions;
  • It would permanently deny women in the military access to abortion care at overseas military hospitals, even if they pay for the service with their own money;
  • In­cludes tax ex­emp­tions and other ben­e­fits in the def­i­ni­tion of “fed­er­al funds”. This is a dra­mat­ic ex­pan­sion of scope that will raise costs for cus­tomers of the 87% of all pri­vate in­sur­ance plans that cur­rent­ly do cover abor­tion;
  • It would deny tax credits to employers or other entities that pay for health plans that cover abortion;
  • It would deny tax credits to individuals or entities that pay for abortion care;
  • Disallow medical deductions for payments for any health plan that includes abortion coverage or for any medical expenses related to abortion care;
  • Treat as income any amounts paid for an abortion from a tax-preferred trust or account, such as a health savings account.

If en­act­ed, this bill would like­ly cause most pri­vate health plans to drop abor­tion cov­er­age due to the de­nial of tax ben­e­fits to ANY plan that in­cludes such cov­er­age.

Note: The leg­is­la­tion as in­tro­duced tight­ens the tra­di­tion­al ex­emp­tion for cases of rape, in­cest and dan­ger to the life of the moth­er, nar­row­ing the def­i­ni­tion of rape to “forcible rape” (while they say they’ve dropped that definition, it STILL IN THE BILL), and only ex­empt­ing in­cest of the vic­tim is a minor. Fac­ing pres­sure from sup­port­ers of women’s rights, the spon­sor has an­nounced the lan­guage will be re­vert­ed to that of Hyde (AGAIN, they’re claiming they’ll revert it … but thus far, the language has not been changed).

From the Georgetown Progressive:  “Let’s review the principle on which the bill is based: that the life of a fetus is more valuable than the life of the woman carrying it in all circumstances: the woman exists only as a mother, and her role is only to carry a child, no matter the effects on her or her life.  Even in cases of medical necessity, even in cases where the woman’s life is at stake, even in cases where a woman is financially incapable of caring for a child, even in cases where the fetus is a product of rape or incest, H.R.3 says that this woman is obligated to carry the fetus to term.”

If you never write your congressman about anything else in your life, this is the ONE time that you should make a concerted effort to help our Congressional representatives understand how totally wrong it would be to allow this bill to make it into the law of our land.  If it does, this will no longer be the America you though you grew up in.

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