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This bill would interfere with women’s most personal medical decisions, and it would especially hurt low-income women,” says Cecile Richards

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives will vote on legislation that would eliminate abortion access and undermine a woman’s ability to make personal decisions about her own health care.  Planned Parenthood Action Fund called on House members to reject H.R.7, titled the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would be especially harmful to women and families who are already struggling to make ends meet. 

“This legislation does nothing to improve the economy, create jobs or protect or advance opportunities for women. This bill would interfere with women’s most personal medical decisions, and it would especially hurt low-income women,” said Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 

Planned Parenthood noted that this bill is more than a simple restatement of objectionable federal law that prevents federal funds from going toward abortion except in extremely rare cases – a law that should be repealed because it prevents women from accessing a safe, legal medical procedure and has a particularly harsh impact on low-income women. In truth, this bill goes even further and would endanger women’s health by eliminating abortion coverage in the private and public insurance markets.

This legislation is out of touch with the priorities of Americans today. According to a 2013 nationwide poll conducted by Hart Research, a strong majority of voters across the political spectrum – Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (78 percent), and Independents (71 percent) – say these issues are the wrong issues for Congress and their state legislatures to be spending time on. In fact, a poll out yesterday from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that the public’s agenda continues to be dominated by the economy (80 percent top priority) and jobs (74 percent).   

According the Shriver Report, released earlier this month by Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress, one-third of all American women are living at “the brink of poverty,” meaning that they earn less than $47,000 per year for a family of four. “Forty-two million women, and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living one single incident—a doctor’s bill, a late paycheck, or a broken-down car—away from economic ruin,” the report reveals.

After voters have repeatedly rejected candidates who support this extreme agenda, it is hard to believe that a narrow group of far-right politicians are continuing to push forward harmful legislation that would deny women comprehensive health coverage and eliminate access to safe and legal abortion — while raising taxes on women and small businesses.  The bill would be especially harmful for women struggling to make ends meet, who may not be able to afford a safe and legal abortion without insurance coverage.

“This bill is nothing more than an attempt to eliminate abortion access and undermine a woman’s ability to make personal decisions about her own health care. Congress should listen to the American people and reject this bill,” said Richards.

H.R. 7 was approved by the all-male majority of the Judiciary Committee earlier this month, where they were met with vocal opposition from women members of the House who spoke out against this attack on women’s health at the first committee mark-up of the year. It is dangerous to women’s health and takes away important tax benefits from American families and small businesses:

  • The bill seeks to raise taxes for families by denying women and families, whose health insurance plans include abortion coverage, the federal subsidies they are entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.
  • The bill threatens women’s health by denying access to health insurance coverage that includes coverage of abortion beyond the circumstances of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is in danger.
  • This legislation harms women at home and abroad because it does not allow any exceptions for women to get the coverage they need when their health is in danger, even in circumstances where a woman needs an abortion to prevent severe, permanent damage to her health.

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