WASHINGTON - A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives today that would make permanent policies that deny abortion coverage to women who depend on the federal government for their health care and extend these unjust prohibitions into the private sector. The bill, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), would effectively eliminate insurance coverage for abortion. Currently, more than 80 percent of insurance plans offer abortion coverage.
The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the bill, which would increase the tax liability of millions of Americans and penalize businesses that seek to offer insurance plans that cover abortion along with other pregnancy-related care, reducing the likelihood that insurance companies would provide coverage for abortion.
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
"This bill is an insidious and unprecedented attempt to destroy the insurance market for abortion and deny access to basic health care for women. Instead of ensuring that everyone can get the health care they need, the Smith insurance ban would permanently deny abortion coverage to women who rely on the government for their health care and take away coverage that already exists for most Americans. Congress should not deny women access to legal medical services. We will work to ensure that this bill is defeated."
The ACLU conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.