News Contraception

Obama Administration Will Veto HR 358

Robin Marty

The president's advisers say that if the Pitts bill passes, Obama will veto.

Tomorrow, the House Republicans will be introducing the so called “Protect Life Act,” a sort of supersized anti-choice bill designed to add restrictions to coverage of abortions in the health care exchange that would be so onerous it could cause insurance companies to stop covering the procedure, even in private insurance plans, allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortions if they receive Medicaid and Medicare funding, even if the procedure would save a woman’s life, and would permanently enshrine the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortions.

Should the bill pass, however, the White House has just released a statement saying they would veto it.

From the White House:

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 358 because, as previously stated in the Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 3, the legislation intrudes on women’s reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that women and their families have today. 

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Longstanding Federal policy prohibits Federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered.  The Affordable Care Act preserved this prohibition and included policies to ensure that Federal funding is segregated from any private dollars used to fund abortions for which Federal funding is prohibited.  The President’s Executive Order 13535 reinforces that Federal funding cannot be used for abortions (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) and ensures proper enforcement of this policy.  H.R. 358 goes well beyond the safeguards found in current law and reinforced in the President’s Executive Order by restricting women’s private insurance choices.

If the President is presented with H.R. 358, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Without the 2/3rds majority needed to overrule, we are once again watching Republicans vote to restrict women’s access to health care to score some political points knowing full well they will never be held responsible for the fallout.

Political theater, once again.

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