The bill also provides conscience protections for health care workers who oppose abortion.
But even if the bill passes the Democrat-controlled Senate, President Obama is sure to veto it: “If the President is presented with H.R. 358, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the OMB said in a statement even before the House passed the bill.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), the bill’s sponsor, noted that as recently as last year, a survey showed that 67 percent of Americans support a ban on abortion funding. “But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act failed to include this prohibition, and that is why we are here today,” Pitts said. “President Obama indicated his support for upholding the ban on federal funding for abortion in health reform, and that is exactly what the Protect Life Act does.”
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said Obamacare “contains numerous loopholes that allow federal subsidies to be used to purchase plans that pay for abortion.” He said the House has now fulfilled “an important commitment in the Pledge to America, and respected the will of the majority of Americans who do not want their tax dollars used to fund abortions.”
The OMB said the Obama administration “strongly opposes” H.R. 358 because it “intrudes on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that women and their families have today.”
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the bill the “Let Women Die Act.”
“Americans are facing challenges, Keenan said, “yet House Speaker John Boehner is ignoring the public’s call for Congress to focus on jobs. Instead, he is coming up with new ways to give politicians more control over our personal, private decisions.”
“President Obama won enactment of Obamacare in 2010, partly by pretending that the bill did not expand abortion -- but now the mask is coming off,” said National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Douglass Johnson. He noted that the Democrats’ health care law contains “multiple provisions” that could be used to authorize federal subsidies for abortion.
The conservative Family Research Council thanked the Republican-led House for restoring “government neutrality” on the issue of taxpayer funding for abortion.
"Most Americans, regardless of their view on the legality of abortion on demand, oppose government funding for abortion. The 'Protect Life Act' will make sure that this principle is restored under the President's health care law," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
Under the Republican bill, Americans who want health care insurance with abortion coverage or supplemental abortion coverage can purchase it, but not with federal dollars.