The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to permanently prohibit use of federal funds to pay for abortions or for purchasing insurance plans that cover abortions, with certain limited exceptions.
Since 1976, the “Hyde Amendment” has been included on appropriations bills. The new legislation (H.R. 7) would make the prohibitions permanent and applies them to all federal funds. It would also ban abortions in federal facilities and by federally employed healthcare professionals. Health benefits under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could not include coverage of abortions. Obamacare “exchange subsidies” and cost-sharing subsidies for plans that offer abortion coverage would be disallowed. Further, no multi-state plans under Obamacare could include abortion coverage.
The bill does not prohibit individuals, entities, or non-federal governments from purchasing abortion coverage with non-federal funds.
Between enactment and January 1, 2018, when the bill goes into effect, insurance providers would be required to fully inform consumers about abortion coverage and surcharges.
“By making the Hyde Amendment permanent across the entire federal government, we are saving lives and conserving taxpayer dollars,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma. “A majority of Americans agree that the federal government should not fund abortions. Obamacare broke with the long-standing prohibition and uses taxpayer dollars to pay for insurance plans that cover abortions.
“I believe that all human life is sacred and begins at conception. I am very pleased to help pass this legislation. Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected by law, not killed using federal funds. As a nation that values every individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we should always choose on the side of life.”