Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston and chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, welcomed passage of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015” (H.R. 7) by the U.S. House of Representatives.
“By passing this legislation, the House has taken a decisive step toward respect for unborn human life, reflecting the will of the American people,” he said.
The pro-life bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 242-179 on January 22, the day of the annual March for Life in Washington. The House approved identical legislation a year ago by a closer margin, 227-188.
The bill codifies a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage. It also requires health plans offered under the Affordable Care Act to disclose the extent of their coverage for abortion and the amount of any surcharge for that coverage to consumers.
Cardinal O’Malley wrote to Congress last January urging support for the legislation, saying it “will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 37 years: The federal government should not use its funding power to support and promote elective abortion, and should not force taxpayers to subsidize this violence. Even public officials who take a ‘pro-choice’ stand, and courts that have insisted on a constitutional ‘right’ to abortion, have agreed that the government has every right (in the Supreme Court’s words) to ‘encourage childbirth over abortion.’”
“H.R. 7 also requires health plans under the Affordable Care Act to provide full disclosure on their abortion coverage to consumers,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “This lets Americans choose health coverage that reflects their values. Just as most Americans do not want their tax dollars used for abortion, they do not want their own health coverage misused to pay for abortions. I hope the U.S. Senate will take up this important legislation soon.”