US house passes abortion bill

U.S. House Votes To Permanently Ban Taxpayer Funding Of Abortions

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would permanently ban federally funded abortions. But what does that really mean? What would it change? Who would it affect?

The Star weighed in on the significance of this pass.

“The measure, which passed 238-183, would also block tax credits for some people and businesses buying abortion coverage under former president Barack Obama’s health care law. Republicans passed a similar bill in 2015 under veto threat from Obama and the legislation went nowhere.”

The news source also noted that many believe that the bill, known as HR7, will have a greater chance with Trump in the White House.

“Days into the new all-GOP monopoly in Washington, Republicans are moving aggressively on anti-abortion legislation as well as targeting elements of the health care law. The GOP figures the bill would have a better chance under new President Donald Trump, a Republican and an abortion opponent. But it would have to first get through the Senate, where it would need 60 votes and face considerable Democratic opposition.”

Fundamentally, it is often with Obamacare that many Republican Representatives take issue, as Life Site explained.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 1,036 of Obamacare plans sold in 2014 included abortion on demand. Other Obamacare plans lack transparency on their abortion funding. […] Rep. Dan Kildee, D-MI, complained that HR 7 is ‘about going well beyond’ the Hyde Amendment. Others defended Planned Parenthood and touted that they had participated in the Women’s March on Washington in their speeches against the bill.”

With Republicans holding the House, it is unsurprising that this bill has resurfaced and passed. The Hill noted that–due to the outnumbered Democrats–the stats make sense.

“Lawmakers approved the measure largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans in the […] vote.”

Those three Democrats who voted to pass the bill were Henry Cuellar (Texas), Daniel Lipinski (Illinois) and Collin Peterson (Minnesota).

While the bill has a way to go before it could become law, the efforts behind it are fueled by passionate Representatives who have been very clear about their motivations and values.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) wrote the legislation for the bill and has openly stated the reason behind it, according to The Hill.

“That’s what we should be all about. Life affirming and the saving of human life.”

The bill coincides with the anniversary of Roe V. Wade and the legalization of abortion in the U.S. Many pro-life activists plan to gather for the annual March for Life which is set for Friday, January 27.

In their support for the bill, pro-life Representatives further criticized the exclusivity and unkindness seen during the Women’s March, Life Site said.

“Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY, blasted those using the ‘women’s march’ as a way to imply they speak for all women, noting that pro-life feminists were excluded from it. She plugged Friday’s 44th annual March for Life. Rep. Diane Black, R-TN, also noted the hypocrisy of the women’s march excluding pro-life women.”

The bill does allow for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or the endangerment of the mother’s life. Many people are concerned about the women on Medicaid–and other federally-funded providers–who would not be able to have abortions covered by their insurance.

Anyone who is familiar with politics knows that this bill would not necessarily enforce anything that is very new. Technically speaking, the federal government does not overtly fund abortions. This is what the Hyde amendment is all about: banning federal funding of abortions.

“The Hyde Amendment is a budget rider that has passed every year since 1976, not a permanent law,” Vox said regarding the controversial bill.

“Congress always technically has the option to pass a budget without Hyde, but it’s never actually done so in the 40 years since Hyde was first introduced.”

Now Republicans–and three Democrats–want to take the next step and use HR7 to make the ban into permanent law.

[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]