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Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“To implement the abortion plank of the GOP’s “Pledge to America,” Congress would need to restrict a series of popular tax benefits for purchasing private health insurance coverage, resulting in the loss of tax benefits for tens of millions of Americans and small businesses.

“Current policy already bans federal funds for abortion, but individuals can use their own money to purchase the health coverage they want. However, the GOP Pledge would rewrite federal law on abortion, making it virtually impossible for Americans to access the comprehensive health insurance, including abortion coverage, they want. 
“For instance, if the Pledge were implemented, individuals and small businesses would be prohibited from receiving tax benefits simply because their health insurance includes abortion coverage, a common benefit in a majority of health plans. Small businesses would be prohibited from claiming a tax deduction on providing health insurance to their employees that includes abortion coverage.  Moreover, individuals could not use their own money set aside in a health savings account to pay for an abortion.

“This is an extreme proposal that would use the federal tax code, including tax benefits, to end private health insurance coverage for abortion.  As Americans learn about this radical proposal, they will reject this manipulation of the federal tax code to interfere in their personal lives.

“The GOP Pledge comes at the same time that extreme Republican candidates across the country tout their opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, something that more than three-quarters of Americans support. The vast majority of Americans want government to stay out of the personal, private medical decisions that women and families make. In the upcoming midterm elections, we urge Americans to reject extreme proposals, which would open the door to the government making decisions for women.”