Dear supporters and activists:

Representative Smith's anti-choice bill has passed the House of Representatives.  This bill is an attempt to take away comprehensive health insurance from women. It would impose a new tax burden on millions of small businesses, as well as men and women — and their families — for seeking abortion coverage even if it's used when their health is at risk. This bill does not create one job, actually raises taxes, and takes private health insurance coverage away from women.

Check out the quick video and Q&A below to learn more about the Smith Bill.






Know the Answers!

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    What is the Smith bill?

    The Smith bill, or H.R. 3, was introduced in Congress by U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), and represents an unprecedented attempt to take away comprehensive private health insurance coverage from American women by imposing new taxes on small businesses and individuals.

    The bill makes excessive restrictions on individuals who pay for their own health insurance coverage by drastically altering the tax code. It states that individuals who purchase insurance in the new health exchanges cannot receive federal tax credits if they choose a plan that provides coverage for abortion (except in the limited cases of incest, rape, and when the pregnant woman’s life is in danger) — even though they are also using their own private dollars in part to buy insurance coverage.

    As a result, a woman who has to terminate a pregnancy because of serious medical complications could face bankruptcy, as the costs for an abortion in complicated cases can cost more than $10,000.

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    What is the impact of the Smith bill on women’s health?

    The Smith bill is dangerous to women’s heath because it will take away the private health insurance benefits women currently have. Today, a majority of private health insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage that includes abortion. Health insurance industry experts have repeatedly stated that the restrictions created by the Smith bill could result in private health insurance companies dropping abortion coverage altogether, leaving millions of women — many of whom never thought they might need an abortion — without coverage.

    The Smith bill would most likely cause insurers to stop covering abortion, forcing women who need abortions due to severe health conditions to either risk their health or risk bankruptcy. The bill does not allow any exception for abortions that are necessary to protect women’s health from complications such as cancer or heart and lung conditions that could shorten a woman’s life.

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    What if a woman wants to keep her current health insurance plan or if a small business wants to continue offering its current health insurance plan to its employees?

    Under the Smith bill, individuals who have health insurance coverage that includes abortion will face higher taxes because they will not be able to claim existing tax deductions for the cost of their health care. Similarly, small businesses that offer their employees comprehensive health insurance coverage will also face tax penalties because they will no longer be able to claim existing deductions. Ultimately, this will result in a tax increase for small businesses as well as millions of women and men across the country.

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    How does the Smith bill affect existing restrictions on abortion?

    The Smith bill makes permanent existing restrictions on abortion that are unfair and that threaten women’s health. Current law prohibits federal funding of abortion, except in limited cases: rape, incest, and when the pregnant woman’s life is in danger. As a result, millions of women who rely on public health insurance, such as Medicaid, and federal government employees, are unable to access comprehensive coverage, even if their health is in danger.

    The original version of the Smith bill put new limits on rape survivors’ ability to use federal funds for abortion care by limiting the exemption to “forcible” rape. Also, the original bill no longer guaranteed public insurance coverage to a pregnant woman who needs an abortion to save her life and would have allowed public hospitals to potentially refuse to provide emergency medical treatment to a woman who needs an abortion to stop life-threatening hemorrhaging. After public outrage over these dangerous provisions, Rep. Smith was forced to give up these efforts to deny women access to abortion. But many other dangerous and onerous provisions remain.

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In the news: The Smith bill and Small Business

Act Now!

Tell Congress to reject this attack on women's health. Rep. Smith and his extreme anti-choice colleagues have taken their campaign against women's health and rights to a new low, and they must be stopped.

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Are You a Small Business Owner?

Not only is H.R. 3 a dangerous bill that undermines women’s health, but it would also raise taxes on small businesses. Act now! Write a letter to your local newspaper(s).

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