On Tuesday, January 24th, the House of Representatives voted to pass the H.R.7 bill, which can be found here along with a tracker on its status. The stem of this bill comes from the previous Hyde Amendment, which you can also read here. I encourage everyone to take a look at both texts and form your own opinions accordingly. Please do not rely on the news reporters and biased opinions on Facebook to sway you; instead go direct to the source, see for yourself what is being proposed, and then join in the discussion. Alas, I digress to my own viewpoint on this subject:
The Hyde Amendment had stated that no federal taxpayer funds can go toward abortions or abortion health insurance, except in the case of rape, incest, or a “certified” dangerous health situation. In doing so, anyone religiously against abortion can rest at ease knowing their dollars are not going toward it. On the flip side, this also means that low-income households that can only afford Medicaid and the like are currently unable to use their insurance for an abortion (other than the cases listed above.) This forces them to alternative means if they seek such an operation.
With the addition of H.R.7, it pushes things even further. Not only are Federal health insurance plans effected, but State and private plans will have a much harder time offering abortion health care as well. It would ban federal funding to any organization that performs abortions. That includes any private insurance company currently participating in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange, informally known as Obamacare, which includes abortion coverage. Because the exchange is federally funded, they would give up the right to the tax credits and refunds involved if their coverage includes abortions. They can have coverage outside of the ACA, however, this of course would be an additional fee – a fee which most low-income families cannot afford, an additional weight to the already heavy burden on their shoulders. This bill once again forces these women to alternative means. Now let me be clear here, by alternative, I mean unsafe. Means which we have mostly done away with by providing the necessary health coverage for women since Roe v. Wade. Let us not move backward.
In addition, doctors who are Federal employees are banned from performing abortions. That would mean people like Veterans may not be able to receive the care they deserve. It also takes away funding for things like Planned Parenthood, regardless of where the Federal money is proved to be allocated toward. By defunding things like Planned Parenthood, we also take away the incredible sexual health education that they put forth. Research has shown that this education has led to the decrease of abortions and STD’s.
“No matter what the risk or barrier, women will continue to seek ways to end pregnancies and they will continue to needlessly die if safe abortion care is not accessible. The Trump Administration needs to face these facts and end policies that endanger the lives of women and girls,” said Jason Cone, executive director of MSF-USA, also known as Doctors Without Borders.