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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement Opposing H.R.7

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke entered the following statement into the Congressional Record to explain her opposition to H.R.7 (“the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014”), a bill that would undermine the privacy rights of women.

“Mr. Speaker, today I rise in opposition to H.R.7, a Republican bill intended only to exacerbate divisions between Americans and to undermine the rights of American women to access health care.

“H.R.7 would effectively deny women access to health insurance coverage that includes abortion, by taking away important tax benefits such as certain tax deductions and premium tax credits used to help pay for the cost of health insurance coverage. This bill is so misguided and invasive that it does not even allow for coverage when a woman’s health is in danger.

“Despite the Republicans’ “pro business” stance, this bill would also limit small businesses’ ability to claim existing health care deductions or claim the Small Business Health Tax Credit for those businesses that offer their employees comprehensive health insurance that includes abortion.

“Limiting access to these tax deductions and tax credits not only adversely impacts the employees and the small businesses, but also harms the American economy. After all, both Democrats and Republicans agree that small businesses are the engines of our economy.

“Quite simply, H.R.7 intrudes upon the relationship between a woman and her doctor by limiting a woman’s ability to access to health insurance coverage that includes coverage of abortion and in doing threatens a woman’s health. The notion that women are incapable of rational decision regarding their own bodies and their own health does not have any place in the Twenty-First Century.

“So far this year, we have not even had an opportunity to vote on the extension of unemployment benefits, nor have we had the opportunity to vote on any meaningful jobs bill.  Instead, I am ashamed to say that we waste our time on bills such as H.R. 7 that politicizes women’s access to health care and takes our focus off what should be our primary goal – creating Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! 

“I ask my colleagues to oppose this bill and  I yield back the remainder of my time.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

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