By Jennifer Steinhauer
Invoking the mantra of fiscal restraint that has dominated House action since lawmakers reconvened last month, Republicans began committee work this week on two bills that would greatly expand restrictions on financing for and access to abortions. Another bill, one that would cut off federal dollars to women’s health care clinics that offer abortions, is expected to surface later this year.
‘This House is more pro-life than it’s ever been,’ said Representative Joe Pitts, Republican of Pennsylvania and the author of one of the bills to limit money for abortions.
Democrats in both the House and Senate immediately fought back Tuesday, working closely with reproductive rights advocates. They have appropriated the Republican charge from last year that Democrats were working on a liberal policy agenda instead of on job creation and the economy, and turned it on its head.”
“One bill, the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,’ would eliminate tax breaks for private employers who provide health coverage if their plans offer abortion services, and would forbid women who use a flexible spending plan to use pre-tax dollars for abortions. Those restrictions would go well beyond current law prohibiting the use of federal money for abortion services.”
“Another bill, sponsored by Mr. Pitts, addresses the health care overhaul head-on by prohibiting Americans who receive insurance through state exchanges from purchasing abortion coverage, even with their own money. The bill is essentially a resurrection of a provision in the House version of the health care law but was not in the Senate version.”
“’Both bills are designed to drive coverage for abortion out of Center for Reproductive Rights.”plans, period,’ said Nancy Northup, president of the