(CNSNews.com) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that “women can die on the floor” if Congress passes a GOP-backed bill that would prohibit federal funds from being used to pay for any part of a health plan that covers abortion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
At a press conference on Capitol Hill today, a reporter asked Pelosi, “Can you comment on the abortion [bill] the GOP is bringing to the House floor tonight?”
Pelosi said: “Under this [abortion] bill, when the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene, if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling. It falls right into their -- all, it’s a health issue.”
“This is a health issue and it falls right in with a lot of other initiatives that they had coming up on the floor about clean air, clean water, mercury, you name it,” said Pelosi. “America’s families deserve better than this and, again, today is another example of a wasted opportunity. Instead of taking up even an aspect of the president’s jobs bill that could create jobs that they’re -- I can’t even describe to you the logic of what it is that they are doing. I just know that you will see a large number of women on the floor today fighting for women’s health issues, as well as to point [out] how savage this is about withholding care for a woman because of this legislation.”
Pelosi also said the legislation is not a jobs bill. "Everybody in America has the creation of jobs as their top priority and what are we doing but wasting time? I want to yield to Steny [Hoyer] to talk about how ill-fated this legislation is, but not before saying this: Every woman in America should be concerned about this assault on women’s health. This is just one aspect of women’s health. But it has an impact across the board on how women get their health insurance. It is a waste of time. But I’m going to yield to Steny to talk about that.”
The legislation, the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358), as summarized by the Congressional Research Service, would amend “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.).”
It also would require “any qualified health benefit plan offered through an Exchange that includes coverage for abortions to also offer a qualified health benefit plan through the Exchange that is identical in every respect except that it does not cover abortions.” (To read the full text, click here, or read the full summary, click here.)
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the legislation today, Oct. 13. During his weekly press conference today, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) defended the bill.