While the law already prohibits the use of federal funds for most abortion services — aside from cases involving rape or incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. However, these prohibitions are not part of a permanent statute. Instead, they’re re-approved by Congress each year through the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Human and Health Services (known as the Hyde Amendment).
If enacted, this bill would enshrine those prohibitions in a permanent law. It would also expand the ban on abortion services by:
- Making it illegal to include abortion services under any health care plans that are paid for with federal funds.
- Prohibiting abortion services in any federal or D.C. health care facilities. As an extension of this measure, any physicians employed by the federal government are also barred from practicing abortion services.
- Altering the definition of “qualified health plan” under the Internal Revenue Code so that it no longer includes plans that cover abortion (this basically means that individuals and small businesses won’t receive tax credits if they enroll in a health care plan that covers abortion services).
- Requiring the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to ensure that state health care exchanges—where people shop for health insurance plans-—don’t offer any coverage for abortion services that will be paid for with federal funds.
Finally, this bill would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to create public notices for people shopping for health insurance. This would include information about the extent of coverage for abortion services by federal funds, as well as the cost of abortion procedures that an individual would have to pay out of pocket, separate from her premium.