News Law and Policy

U.S. House Passes Bill Targeting Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Emily Crockett

“It seems that the majority has an endless supply of bills attacking women's health. Can't pass this one? Grab another,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) on the House floor.

After canceling plans at the last minute to vote on a federal 20-week abortion ban, House Republicans voted 242-179 on Thursday to pass a different anti-choice bill that would restrict access to abortion through the insurance market.

The bill skipped the committee process so that members could vote on it Thursday, the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the day of the anti-choice March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

“It seems that the majority has an endless supply of bills attacking women’s health. Can’t pass this one? Grab another,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) on the House floor.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” would make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.

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The bill, HR 7, would also go much further than Hyde by prohibiting women or small businesses from using tax credits or subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to pay for any health insurance plan that covers abortion care.

The bill has no exceptions for a patient whose health is endangered by her pregnancy.

HR 7 passed the House last year, but didn’t receive a vote in the Senate. The same thing happened to last year’s 20-week abortion ban.

The effect of the bill could be to cause the entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage, according to a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We remain disappointed that the House leadership continues to target abortion by pivoting to payment policies,” said Hal C. Lawrence, executive vice president and CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Medical care must be guided by sound science and by the patient’s individual needs, not by legislative mandates or financial concerns.”

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