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.
- 90-second summary: H.R. 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, Compared to Hyde
- Daring Minds: H.R. 3 on abortion = More than Hyde Amendment on steroids
- NARAL: The “Stupak on Steroids” Agenda: A Multi-Pronged Attack
- Georgetown Progressive: Stupak on Steroids–Taking Sexist Moralizing to the Next Level