Bill Protecting Pa. Tax Dollars Heads to Governor
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania taxpayers gained a victory Wednesday when the state Senate passed a bill to prevent tax dollars from being spent on abortions.
House Bill 818, which passed the state House in April, ensures that Pennsylvania opts out of elective abortion coverage in the state health insurance exchange created through the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support, 31 votes in favor to 19 against.
“House Bill 818 is a true taxpayer protection bill,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “We applaud the Senate for preserving Pennsylvania’s longstanding and time-tested policy that prevents taxpayer funding of abortion.”
The Affordable Care Act includes a provision allowing states to opt-out of abortion coverage in the health insurance exchanges. Pennsylvania is one of more than 30 states that have, or are in the process of, enacting opt-out legislation.
“National polls show that more than 70 percent of Americans oppose tax dollars being spent on abortion,” Gallagher said. “We are grateful to both the Senate and the House for listening to women and men throughout the Commonwealth who do not want their hard-earned tax dollars to be used for abortions.”
House Bill 818 includes exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, which are the same exceptions that apply to Medicaid funding of abortion in Pennsylvania. Therefore, the Pennsylvania bill is in line with state law and the U.S. Constitution.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion, will go to Governor Tom Corbett’s desk for signature.