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Washington, DC – Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are original cosponsors of a bill introduced yesterday that would prevent federal funds from being used for elective abortions under the new health care law. S. 3723, the “Excluding Abortion Coverage from Health Reform Act of 2010,” was introduced by Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and 21 original cosponsors besides Crapo and Risch.

“It is unfortunate that the health care reform debate was hindered by an attempt to change the long-standing federal policy that prohibits tax dollars from being used for abortions,” Crapo said. “This bill clarifies and reaffirms that precedent,”

“It is imperative that loopholes in the health care law that allow taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for elective abortions be closed. This legislation will make it clear that public funds will not be used for abortion services nor force people to pay into an insurance system that will use their money for abortion,” said Risch.

The legislation will fix numerous problems in the health care law by:

  • Applying the Hyde Amendment guaranteeing that no tax subsidies flow to plans that cover elective abortions.
  • Creates real separation by requiring abortion plans to be sold separately from other health care plans in the new Exchanges that will receive federal dollars. This will protect individuals from paying an abortion surcharge to obtain a health care plan they are required to purchase.
  • Prevents any federal agency or appointee from mandating private insurance plans cover abortion.
  • Codifies the Hyde-Weldon provision to protect health care providers from being penalized by any government entity for refusing to participate in providing an abortion.
  • Prevents the Office of Personnel Management from contracting with or administering health plans that include abortion.
  • Prevents all taxpayer funds from being used to pay for elective abortion services or coverage related to “reproductive services.”
  • Offers permanent pro-life protections provided under the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and a similar amendment previously offered by Senators Nelson and Hatch.

In summary, the bill guarantees that no federal taxpayer dollars can be used to pay for elective abortions.