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Bill to Restrict Funding for Abortions Cleared by House Committee

On January 15, the House Judiciary Committee approved, 22-12, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7). The Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing on the bill on January 9 (see The Source, 1/10/14).

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), would prohibit federal funding for health benefit coverage that includes coverage for abortions. Unlike current law, this provision does not make an exception for rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother. The measure would prohibit the inclusion of abortion in any health care service provided by federal or District of Columbia health care facilities, or by a physician employed by the federal or District of Columbia governments.

The legislation would prohibit D.C. from using locally raised revenue to fund abortion services for low-income women. In addition, the bill would disqualify individuals from receiving IRS tax deductions for medical expenses spent on abortion services. The definitions of “qualified health plan” and “health insurance coverage” would be modified to exclude any plan that provides abortions.

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