The House of Representatives will likely vote on H.R. 3, the so-called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" bill tomorrow or Thursday. It’s the anti-choice riot we’ve been hearing about since late January when its author, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), caught flak for flipping a standard exemption, "abortion in the case of rape," into "abortion in the case of forcible rape," thus requiring a woman to be raped to certain specifications to escape his bill.
At press time, the forcible rape language isn’t in the bill. Here’s what is, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights:
A permanent ban on abortion coverage for women on Medicaid, federal employees, women in the military and Peace Corps volunteers. (Most of these restrictions are already re-enacted each year in appropriations bills. H.R. 3 would set them in stone.)
A ban on tax credits for businesses that provide health plans that include abortion coverage.
New taxes for the self-employed who belong to insurance plans that cover abortion
The end of abortion coverage for women who buy health insurance with assistance from the Affordable Care Act–even though they would use their own dollars to pay for part or most of the premiums.
And the list goes on.
In particular, the Medicaid restriction scares me. It seems to me that women of color–who must use Medicaid at a dramatically higher rate than white women–will be that much more vulnerable to for-profit parasites like, say, Kermit Gosnell.
Check out El Instituto Nacional de Latinas para la Salud Reproductiva (National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Rights) for a comprehensive toolkit about this issue. And be sure to pass on the Center for Reproductive Rights’ video!
We can win this.