Letter to the Judiciary Committee on H.R. 3, The No Taxpayer Funding for Abort

The Honorable Lamar Smith
Chairman – Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20514

RE:  February 8, 2011 Hearing on "The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act" (H.R. 3)
Dear Chairman Smith and Members of the Judiciary Committee:

The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) strongly opposes H.R. 3, "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which would impose dangerous and unprecedented restrictions on women's access to abortion services, and for the most vulnerable women, may put their lives at risk.  The National Health Law Program is a public interest law firm working to advance access to quality health care and protect the legal rights of low-income and underserved people.

H.R. 3 would permanently ban abortion coverage with only extremely narrow exceptions for low income women who access their health care in publicly funded programa, and would make insurance coverage for any women almost impossible to obtain.  The Hyde Amendment discriminates against and disadvantages the women who may most be in need of abortion services.  It robs low income women of the ability to make life decisions in the best interest of themselves and their families.  The narrow exceptions of rape, incest and life dangerment put the most vulnerable women at risk – and H.R. 3 would tighten those restrictions to the extent that even victims of rape and incest may be denied access to the services they need and to which they should be entitled.

Low income women, and the low income women of color already experience severe health disparities in reproductive health, maternal health outcomes, and virth outcomes.  H.R. 3 would exacerbate those disparities by denying women access to abortion services that may be necessary to protect their health and their lives.

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