(PRESS RELEASE) This week, the House of Representatives will hold hearings on the recently introduced bills banning abortion coverage for millions of women. The House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on Rep. Chris Smith's "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" (H.R. 3) on Tuesday, February 8, and the Energy and Commerce Committee will hear testimony on Rep. Joe Pitts\' "Protect Life Act" (H.R. 358) on Wednesday, February 9. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, issued this statement:
“The new House came to Washington pledging their deep commitment to smaller government, but the jig is up. Within a matter of weeks, anti-choice lawmakers have introduced—and House leadership has declared ‘a priority’—unprecedented government intrusions into women’s personal medical decisions.
“The Smith bill, essentially an Abortion Tax, imposes tax penalties on insurance plans that cover abortion, even when that insurance is paid for with private dollars or provided by employees in the private marketplace. The legislation is radically broad and clearly intended to prevent all women from obtaining abortion coverage. The Pitts bill would prevent women from using their own money to buy abortion coverage, effectively stripping millions of women of the abortion coverage that they already have.
“And if manipulating the private insurance market and dictating how a woman can spend her own money for her medical care were not enough, both bills essentially issue a death warrant for American women. They would allow hospitals to refuse women life-saving treatment—all in the name of preventing a woman from obtaining a legal and safe abortion.
“These latest anti-choice efforts are below-the-belt politics at its worst. Abortion is an essential part of reproductive healthcare and one of the most common medical procedures sought by women. The House of Representatives has no business dictating women’s medical care. The costs are too high to women’s health and lives.”