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Groundhog Day Must Be Congress' Favorite Movie

Elayne Weiss,
Washington Legislative Office
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January 28, 2014

While working on reproductive rights in our nation’s capital, your life starts to resemble the classic black comedy Groundhog Day in which the main character wakes up to find he’s reliving the same day over and over again. I, like any good cinephile, enjoy seeing Bill Murray struggle to get his day right. However, when it comes to Congress trying to pass the same misguided bill intended to restrict women’s ability to make personal medical decisions, I’m not such a big fan.

Regrettably, unlike Bill Murray, who eventually reexamines his life and sees the error in his ways, anti-choice members of Congress again passed the misleadingly titled No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7) by a vote of 227 to 188 today. The House passed this legislation once before in 2011, but it fortunately went nowhere in the Senate.

Just to recap: H.R. 7 would rewrite tax law to penalize a single, legal medical procedure: abortion. The bill denies tax credits to small businesses and middle-class families if their health plans include abortion coverage and imposes a tax increase on women who need abortion care. H.R. 7 would also codify unjust abortion bans that prevent millions of women — such as those who qualify for Medicaid, Peace Corps volunteers, and residents of the District of Columbia — from having health insurance coverage that includes abortion care. In other words, H.R. 7 denies women comprehensive health insurance that covers their needs.

Instead of focusing on restricting women’s access to basic health care, anti-choice members of Congress should wake up and commit to working on legislation, like the Pregnant Women’s Fairness Act, that really helps women. Let’s hope we soon live in a world where today is actually tomorrow.

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