US House Passes 'No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act'

One week after the anniversary of the controversial Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping pro-life bill.

Known as HR 7 or the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act", the House voted 227 to 188 in favor of the proposed legislation.

HR 7 has multiple components to it that focus on removing government funding of abortion and benefits for abortion coverage, reported Laura Basset of the Huffington Post.

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"[HR 7] would prohibit insurance plans sold in the new health care exchanges from covering abortion, and it would eliminate tax benefits for small businesses that purchase insurance plans covering abortion," wrote Basset.

"The bill would also prevent the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised funds to subsidize abortion care for low-income women."

Introduced by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith, HR 7's aims bear resemblance to the Hyde Amendment, which gets renewed every session by Congress.

Smith's goal with HR 7 is to make the Hyde Amendment provisions permanent and no longer in need of annual renewal.

Leading up the vote, it was widely believed that the GOP-dominated lower house of Congress would pass the bill, according to CNN.

"On the same day that the top Republican woman in the House will deliver the response to the President's State of the Union message, the GOP-led House of Representatives is expected to pass a controversial bill on an issue that divides women," reported Deirdre Walsh of CNN.

In remarks delivered Tuesday before Congress, Rep. Smith argued that HR 7 accomplishes the goals of making permanent abortion funding restrictions, holding the Affordable Care Act accountable regarding its abortion funding procedure, and creating transparency regarding health insurance plans that cover abortion.

"HR 7 will help save lives and will reduce abortions," stated Smith when laying out the case for his bill.

"The Judiciary Committee Report accompanying HR 7 suggests that the Hyde Amendment has saved over a million children because 1 in 4 women who would have procured an abortion don't go through with it if public funding isn't available."

Critics of the legislation, including Democratic Florida Rep. Lois Frankel, argued that HR 7 will be harmful to women's health.

"Today our Republican colleagues are once again trying to take us back to those days with a new radical bill to deny our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, the right to obtain and safe and legal abortion," said Frankel.

The Democrat-dominated Senate is not expected to pass the bill and President Barack Obama has expressed intentions to veto it should the proposed legislation come before him.

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