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No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. PELOSI. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank him for his ongoing leadership on issues that relate to privacy and the health of America's women.

Madam Speaker, today is approximately the 120th day of the Republican majority in the Congress of the United States; and in all those 120 days, we have yet to see a jobs bill brought to the floor. We haven't even seen a jobs proposal or a jobs agenda. Instead, once again, we see a diversion. We see legislation which is extreme and divisive and harmful to women's health.

I rise today to urge my Republican colleagues in the House to let us come together to work in a bipartisan way to address the number one priority of the American people, the creation of jobs; and I rise today as the Republicans bring to the floor this legislation instead of bringing to the floor a bill to end the subsidies for Big Oil. They gave the impression during the break that they would do that. I wrote to the Speaker; the President of the United States has written to the bipartisan leadership in Congress asking for an end to the subsidies to Big Oil. Instead of doing that, we are, again, undermining women's health.

Let us begin this part of the debate with a clear understanding of the facts. Federal funding for abortion is already prohibited under the law due to the Hyde amendment except in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. Federal funding for abortion is already prohibited. This bill is even a radical departure from the Hyde amendment. It represents an unprecedented and, again, radical assault on women's access to the full range of reproductive health care services. For the first time, this bill places restrictions on how women with private insurance can spend their private dollars in purchasing health insurance.

This bill will deny tax credits for women who buy the type of health insurance that they currently have, health insurance that covers a full range of reproductive care. As a result, now, this is about businesses. If you're a woman and you have a job and your employer gives you health insurance, that employer will no longer be able to take a tax deduction from your health insurance--quite different from what happens with their male employees. And in that event, when that happens, health insurance companies will then roll back that coverage because there won't be enough people participating in the pool to justify that insurance. So there are millions of women who will no longer have access to insurance policies from their employer that cover all reproductive services.

The practical result of this legislation for many is there will be a tax increase, a tax increase on small businesses and a tax increase on women based on how they choose to spend their private dollars simply for keeping the coverage they have right now.

Even more of a problem, this legislation allows hospitals to deny life-saving care to women in moments of direst emergency. The bill would permit medical professionals to turn their back on women dying from treatable conditions. It is appalling.

As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote in opposition to this effort: ``We oppose legislative proposals to limit women's access to any needed medical care. These proposals can jeopardize the health and safety of our patients and put government between a physician and a patient.''

Madam Speaker, let us not work to limit the care; let us expand it. Let us not raise taxes on small business and women; let us strengthen our middle class. Let us never attack the health of women; let us, instead, create jobs. That's what the American people expect us to do, and that is why I urge my colleagues to oppose this divisive and radical legislation.


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