On Jan. 9, 2014, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing on H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” 

This legislation would make the Hyde amendment permanent and stop funding abortion insurance coverage through the “Affordable Care Act.” (See our article, “ObamaCare and Abortion.”)

Expert witnesses, presenting testimony before the committee, articulately “connected the dots” between what women really want — and need — versus what elected officials are forcing upon them.

Here are just a few key quotes from their testimonies:

Prof. Helen Alvare

Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

(videowritten testimony)

“In my remarks today, I will address the following points: First, that neither American lawmakers nor citizens, especially women, understand abortion as a public good meriting funding. And second, that abortion is not a part of any genuine ‘women’s health’ agenda according to the federal government’s own statements.”

“Having been an observer of the abortion debate for decades, I want to highlight how newly disturbing it is when supporters of legal abortion cease denying that abortion destroys a human life, while continuing to demand legal abortion and abortion funding. They do so in the name of women’s health and rights, which is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room every time abortion is legally debated, including here today. So let me turn to the matter of women’s beliefs and women’s health in relation to abortion. …”

Richard Doerflinger- usccb 
Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director, Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

(videowritten testimony)

What this legislation (H.R 7) does is place abortion coverage more in the arena of individual choice for women — an outcome opposed by groups that once claimed to be  ‘pro-choice’ and  ‘pro-woman.’ They prefer a status quo in which insurance companies or employers choose abortion coverage and impose it on others, chiefly because it is cheaper for them than reimbursing for live birth.”

“If I find myself explicitly forced by federal law to pay for other people’s abortions, as a condition for receiving the health care my family and I need, is it really that important to me whether the law calls the forced payment a ‘premium’ rather than a ‘tax’?”

“The ACA debate drew attention to the issue of how our tax system treats abortion, and uncovered some remarkable facts. For example, the individual tax deduction for medical expenses can be directly used to help reduce the cost of an abortion performed for any reason (not just abortion coverage but payments for abortions themselves). This seems a very explicit and direct statement that the government wants to help pay for your elective abortions. Now that this loophole allowing tax support for abortion has been discovered, H.R. 7 is addressing it.

And, as Prof. Alvaré concluded, “It is time once and for all to settle the matter of federal funding for abortion, and move on to a real ‘women’s agenda.”

We agree.

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