SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 31, 2011

House GOP wants to use tax code to curb abortions

WASHINGTON — House Republicans are trying to use the tax code to curb abortions by limiting tax breaks for insurance policies that cover the procedure.

The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday that would prevent taxpayers from deducting the cost of an abortion from their taxable income. It would also prevent small businesses and taxpayers from using tax credits in the new health care law to provide or pay for insurance policies that cover the procedure.

If women pay for an abortion using tax-free income that had been set aside in a heath savings account, the money would have to be reported as taxable income. There would be exceptions for cases of rape or incest, or if a physician certifies that a woman's life would be in danger if she doesn't terminate her pregnancy.

Federal law already prohibits federal funding for abortion, with the same exceptions listed in the bill. The new health care law, which was nearly derailed by the highly charged issue, creates state marketplaces for insurance called exchanges. The law allows plans in the exchanges to cover abortions, as long as they collect a separate premium from policy holders and that money is kept apart from federal subsidies.

Republicans were united in opposing the new health care law. Now, with their efforts to repeal it stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate, they are attacking it piece-by-piece. House GOP leaders support the effort to limit tax breaks that help fund abortions, but the bill faces strong opposition in the Senate.

Supporters say the bill is necessary because current law doesn't go far enough in ensuring that no tax money is used to subsidize abortions.

"We're just trying to have a very clear line of demarcation on where our taxpayer funds may be used for abortion," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. "It's really using the tax code and taxpayer dollars to assist with the procurement of abortion, and we're going to make sure that doesn't happen."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The Nation

AP Video
Weather Gives Washington Firefighters Hope Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message $5M Bond Set for Teens in Homeless Killings New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Obama Calls for Immediate Access to Crash Site Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Raw: Eric Garner's Wife Collapses at Rally in NY Raw: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Visits Iowa
NDN Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted