The Feminist Majority decries the passage of a dangerous and extreme abortion coverage ban by the US House of Representatives – the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” HR 7. Republicans passed HR 7 by a vote of 227-188 with 221 Republicans voting for the anti-abortion bill and 187 Democrats voting against.

via Shutterstock

Although HR 7 purports to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion, the bill actually prevents women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care.

“HR 7 is a blatant attack on women’s reproductive rights and an attempt to take away a woman’s ability to make personal health care decisions, including decisions about abortion,” said Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal. “This bill flatly puts women’s health at risk by dramatically restricting access to abortion coverage.”

HR 7 would eliminate tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for women and families who purchase insurance plans that include abortion coverage through the newly created health insurance marketplaces. It would also force private multi-state insurance plans that participate in the marketplaces to stop providing abortion coverage and withhold the Small Business Tax Credit to those businesses that offer comprehensive health insurance – which includes abortion – to their employees.

“The Affordable Care Act banned health insurance companies from discriminating against women and increased the ability of all Americans to access quality healthcare by extending financial assistance to low- and moderate-income families and individuals,” said Smeal. “But HR 7 especially and unfairly targets millions of women by placing comprehensive healthcare out of reach. This attack on women’s health care must end.”

In particular for women living in the District of Columbia, HR 7 is an extreme piece of legislation. The bill would prevent the District from using its own, locally-raised funds on abortion care for women struggling to make ends meet. These women should not be held hostage to Congress’s radical anti-choice agenda.

“Instead of focusing on securing women’s economic security and extending unemployment benefits to the millions of long-term jobless in this country, House Republicans have decided to re-launch an assault on women’s health and rights, and in the process, threaten the economic well-being of women and their families,” said Smeal.