The House Republicans plan resume their War on Women this week, passing H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" bill. You'll remember this as the "forcible rape" bill, the one that would have redefined rape so that essentially only violent, stranger rape actually counted as real rape for the purposes of abortion funding. Of course, that was the flashpoint in the bill, and uproar over it got that provision removed.
But the whole bill, with its extremely anti-woman, anti-family provisions intact, moves forward. Don't miss reading David Waldman's explanation of the larger implications of this bill and the large tax increase it includes. In a nutshell: "take the rape provisions out, and still left with a disastrous bill, just on the issue of choice alone. But to go beyond that, you're in fact got a bill that paves the way for using the tax code to select every American's health care options for them, direct from Washington."
The Joint Tax Committee confirmed this, saying that this bill would put the IRS in the position of having to do abortion audits.
To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?
For this, and other reasons, the White House has issued one of its "senior advisers" veto threats, saying "intrudes on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care; increases the tax burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restricts the District of Columbia’s use of local funds, which undermines home rule."
Here's the full text [pdf]:
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3 because it: intrudes on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care; increases the tax burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restricts the District of Columbia’s use of local funds, which undermines home rule. Longstanding Federal policy prohibits Federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. This prohibition is maintained in the Affordable Care Act and reinforced through the President’s Executive Order 13535. H.R. 3 goes well beyond these safeguards by interfering with consumers’ private health care choices. The Administration also strongly supports existing provider conscience laws that have protected the rights of health care providers and entities for over 30 years, and it recognizes and supports the rights of patients. The Administration will strongly oppose legislation that unnecessarily restricts women’s reproductive freedoms and consumers’ private insurance options.
If the President is presented with H.R. 3, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
The bill is highly unlikely to ever make it to the president's desk for that veto, but the threat is nonetheless welcome. It won't pass the Senate, where the pro-choice caucus is proportionally stronger.