Action Alert From the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) has reintroduced his misleading "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" bill (HR 3). He says it would “only” codify the unjust Hyde Amendment but in fact it would be even more damaging to women’s access to reproductive health care.
Right now, the Hyde Amendment – which bans federal funds for abortion for low-income women, except in very limited cases – must be passed by Congress every year or it will lapse. Smith wants to make the Hyde ban permanent, thereby establishing in law an unfair tier-two system for reproductive health service – one for women with private insurance or who can pay themselves and another for low-income women. Not only that, this bill would increase specific taxes on individuals and small businesses that would have the effect of preventing women from obtaining abortion services.
Women of all economic levels would suffer if this bill passes. Now, more than 80 percent of health insurance plans cover abortion. If this bill passes, millions of women with private insurance would lose coverage for abortion, with serious economic effects. The most devastating effect would be on the most vulnerable women, including poor women, young women, women of color, immigrants, and women who live in rural areas.