The House just passed HR3, which was misnamed the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. In reality, the law has nothing to do with taxpayer funding. What it does is revokes the tax credit or deduction for health care for any individual or employer who purchases private insurance that covers abortion. It also has an amendment allowing emergency rooms to turn away women who need life-saving care that could endanger the pregnancy or will require a termination. Here's Nancy Pelosi explaining what's up:
The redefinition of rape to exclude raped teenage girls that was included in the bill and then taken out and then snuck back in has gotten most of the attention. But there are two other aspects of HR3 that are even more frightening. This is a radical piece of legislation, folks.
1) Lots more dead women. The legislators who wrote HR3 really, really like the idea of pregnant women paying for fucking with their lives. The bill attacks the lives of pregnant women in two major ways. First of all, the bill will force all insurance companies in the country to drop abortion coverage. For women getting first trimester abortions of choice, this will be a burden, but since this is more of an attack on women who already have insurance, they're likely to be in a slightly better financial situation than the women who get screwed daily by the Hyde Amendment, and therefore more likely to be able to get the $500 together for an abortion.
Not so for women who are 20 weeks along, develop eclampsia or cancer, and need an abortion or they'll die. That procedure can costs thousands of dollars, well out of the reach of many women who need it. So they'd be screwed.
More than that, you have the amendment to the bill that would allow hospitals to turn away women who need emergency terminations. If you have an ectopic pregnancy, for instance, they would be able to turn you away. Some times women who miscarry don't miscarry all the way, and they need to get D&Cs at the hospital in order not to die of blood poisoning. Hospitals would now be able to turn them away.
2) Drastic expansion of federal powers to control your money. The logic of HR3 is kind of complicated, but basically they're arguing that if you get a tax credit or deduction, all of your money—all of it—is "federal" funds, and the government can limit how you spend it. Right now, they're defining that narrowly to say they'll take your tax credit or deduction if you use your private funds to pay for abortion or for an insurance package that could cover abortion. But there's no reason they have to stop there, as David Waldman explains:
Frankly, I'm not sure why, under this theory, individuals should even be eligible for federal tax deductions, credits, etc. if they make private purchases from such a targeted company. After all, all money being fungible, it could well be said that you're using "federal dollars" that are in your pocket by virtue of any tax deduction you take (whether related to health care or not) when you buy products from such a company, and that those "federal dollars" are going into the coffers of a company that uses them fungibly with the dollars they're using to pay for their health care plan.
So, they are opening a door to denying you the deductions and credits you take if you do things with your own money they don't like. Situations like denying mortgage deductions if you use your home for purposes they don't like, or denying your charity deductions if they don't approve of the charities, or just taking away your standard deduction if you pay union dues, or denying you the right to claim your children if you spend money on educating them on things like the realities of global warming. The door is wide open here.