On January 24, the House passed, 238-183, H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
The legislation would permanently prohibit the use of federal funds to fund abortions. This prohibition would include trust funds appropriated by federal law and would prohibit the use of federal funding for any health benefit coverage that includes abortion. Further, federally employed physicians and health care facilities operated by the government would not be allowed to provide abortion services. These restrictions would not apply in instances of rape or incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger due to the pregnancy.
The District of Columbia also would be prohibited from using federal and local funds to provide abortion services.
In addition, the bill would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), also known as Obamacare, to exclude insurance plans that include abortion. Although the legislation strictly prohibits the use of any federal funds for abortion services, it does not restrict the use of private funds to purchase separate plans that cover abortion. If enacted, the requirements would take effect in 2018.
During the 114th Congress, the House passed the legislation in January 2015 (see The Source, 1/23/15).