“The majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to support abortion. Their tax dollars should be spent on things other than abortion,” she told CNA.
While members of the U.S. House are now predominately opposed to abortion, the pro-life legislation faces obstacles in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Fiedorek said the key to passage in the Senate is whether its leaders will allow an up-or-down vote.
The House is expecting a vote on the bill by the end of February or early March. There is discussion in the Senate to introduce corresponding legislation in upcoming months.
Senate Democrats such as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) worry Republicans will be able to force a vote on abortion-related bills by attaching them as riders to must-pass legislation, the congressional newspaper The Hill reports.
“We’re going to fight this with everything we have,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) commented.
Opposition to the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act was also present at the Feb. 8 hearing.
Sara Rosenbaum, a chair of George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy, testified that the bill “dramatically expands” the Hyde Amendment’s conception of public funding and could exclude “certain types of medically necessary procedures” from coverage as well as treatment for post-abortion complications.
She voiced concerns that the legislation does not allow time for the IRS to develop compliance procedures, which could cause employers temporarily to halt health benefits for fear of non-compliance. Insurance and health benefits providers could simply exclude coverage of all abortions rather than risk violating the law and losing their tax-favored treatment.
Doerflinger anticipated Rosenbaum’s point in his testimony, saying:
“As the Supreme Court noted approvingly three decades ago, the purpose of a federal funding ban is to use the government’s funding power to encourage childbirth over abortion. Abortion coverage, and therefore abortion, may become more rare, a result favored by all but the most committed advocates for abortion.”
(Story continues below)
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Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.