The House Judiciary Committee Thursday approved by a vote of 23-14 a bill that prevents any federal funds from being used for abortions.HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, is now headed to the House for a full vote, after 22 Republicans and one Democrat voted to approved it in committee. Puerto Rico Del. Pedro Pierluisi was the lone Dem who voted for the bill, The Hill reports.
HR 3 is mostly known for originally containing the phrase “forcible rape,” language which appeared to exclude some rape victims from receiving federal help for an abortion. That language was stripped from the bill, but some of the pro-choice Dems still decried the bill. “Look, my reaction is this is not really changing things that much,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told TPM last month.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said at the time: “It’s still a totally flawed bill. I would call it the deepest attack on a woman’s right to choose in my lifetime.”
And in the hearing today, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), ranking member of the committee, agreed:
This bill seeks to expand restrictions in current law and to impose an unprecedented penalty — by use of the tax code — on privately funded healthcare choices made by women and their families. Its goal — and effect, if ever enacted — is to make abortion and coverage for abortion services completely unavailable.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement: “While there are strong views on both sides of this issue, one thing is clear, and that is the federal funding of abortion will lead to more abortions.”
“Now is the time for Congress to pass one piece of legislation that prohibits the federal funding of abortions and prohibits the use of fiscal policy to encourage or subsidize abortions,” Smith said.