The House GOP’s odious anti-choice bill

THE HOUSE GOP’S ODIOUS ANTI-CHOICE BILL…. As best as I can tell, yesterday afternoon’s House vote on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3) hasn’t generated much in the way of media attention. To a certain extent, that’s understandable — editors/producers aren’t often inclined to invest a lot of energy covering legislation that’s going to fail, and only got a vote to pander to far-right ideologues.

But it’s also a shame that the vote is being largely ignored by major outlets, because Americans need to know (a) what House Republicans are doing in their name; and (b) just how awful this bill really is.

The House of Representatives just passed H.R. 3, the controversial abortion-funding law that pro-choice critics and the White House has said will make it harder for woman to pay for abortion coverage with their own money. […]

Proponents say the bill will simply make permanent existing bans on using federal money to pay for abortions. But critics say the bill goes much further than existing law, and say it reopens the abortion fight that’s been in detente for years thanks to the Hyde Amendment.

Any serious scrutiny of the bill shows that the critics are right.

This recent editorial summarized the point of the bill nicely: “The tax credits that are encouraging small businesses to provide insurance for their workers could not be used to buy policies that cover abortions. People with their own policies who have enough expenses to claim an income tax deduction could not deduct either the premiums for policies that cover abortion or the cost of an abortion. People who use tax-preferred savings accounts to pay medical costs could not use the money to pay for an abortion without paying taxes on it.”

Indeed, the closer one looks at the bill, the more odious it becomes. The final version included a provision to ensure that only victims of “forcible rape” are eligible for federal funding if they seek abortions. It also raises taxes. It also effectively calls on the IRS to conduct rape audits.

And how many House Republicans voted for this offensive bill? All of them.

Yes, there was also a small group of conservative Democrats who went along with this nonsense, but it was Republicans who made the bill one of the top legislative priorities of the 112th Congress, and then unanimously supported it.

Senate Democrats have said H.R. 3 has absolutely no chance of passing, and in case that weren’t quite enough, the White House formally announced this week that President Obama strongly opposes the bill and would veto it if it reached his desk.

That is, to be sure, reassuring, and explains why this bill isn’t front-page news.

But voters need to understand what they did when they elected a Republican House majority. GOP lawmakers aren’t working on job creation; they’re not working on energy policy; they’re not working on national security; they’re not working on immigration. Instead, Republicans have made abortion one of their top priorities, and yesterday wasted time on a bill they knew would fail, because they want to make it harder for women to pay for abortions with their own money.

Voters who backed GOP candidates last year because you were unsatisfied with economic growth should be aware of what they elected.