House passes extreme ban on abortion coverage

President Obama has already promised a veto

By Jenny Kutner
Published January 22, 2015 6:51PM (EST)
  (Reuters/Stephen Lam)
(Reuters/Stephen Lam)

House Republicans managed to pass an extraordinarily restrictive law to drop federal funding for abortion on Thursday, after deciding to pull the plug on a vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks scheduled for the same day. The vote ever-so-dramatically coincides with the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, as well as antiabortion activists' annual March for Life in Washington.

The Associated Press reports:

The House approved the broadened abortion curbs by a near party-line 242-179 vote. The White House warned that President Barack Obama would veto the measure, all but ensuring that it would never become law. [...]

The approved bill would permanently bar federal funds for any abortion coverage and block tax credits for many people and businesses buying health insurance that covers abortions. That would exceed current abortion restrictions.

The 20-week ban was dropped late on Wednesday following a "revolt" by several Republican congresswomen, who protested the bill's narrow exceptions for rape victims. While that law would have pushed the limits of restricting abortion before viability, the coverage ban is no more moderate; on top of the Hyde Amendment, which already bans abortion funding for women on public assistance, the House bill targets women accessing private insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Jenny Kutner

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