House Passes H.R. 7 on Anniversary of Roe v. Wade


Thursday, January 22, 2015


Alissa Manzoeillo
202.667.5881; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)

House Passes H.R. 7 on Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF):

The passage of H.R. 7 is politics at its worst. Today, anti-choice Representatives pushed a bill through the House that had not even been proposed in this Congress before yesterday. This legislation was a last-minute substitute for a nationwide 20-week abortion ban (H.R. 36), which anti-choice legislators had to pull after they couldn’t get support from within their ranks for the bill’s narrow rape exception. Instead they convened a special session of the Rules Committee late last night and substituted this former piece of anti-choice legislation to appease their base, many of whom are in town protesting the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

H.R. 7 would prevent millions of American women from obtaining private insurance coverage for abortion care even if they pay with their own funds. H.R. 7 would also permanently restrict federal dollars from covering abortion care for women who depend on the federal government for their health care needs. It would additionally prohibit the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised revenue to help low-income women obtain the abortion care they need.

The NAF Hotline hears from nearly 5,000 women each week who would be harmed by the unjust policies contained in H.R. 7. These women are desperate to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, but frequently cannot—because of law, because of circumstances, and because of the decisions of politicians who think they know better. Many of these women are forced to delay accessing the abortion care they need due to existing funding bans.

This bill would affect women like Carly* who was suffering from kidney disease and in a great deal of pain. She couldn’t go to work and was having trouble caring for her two children. Carly knew continuing her pregnancy would create many more health problems and leave her unable to care for her family. She made the decision to have an abortion so that she could have her kidney removed and begin the road to recovery; however, she couldn’t afford her procedure. Coverage restrictions like those in H.R. 7 make it more difficult for women like Carly to access the abortion care they need.

Anti-choice politicians in the House have gone from fighting to deny women access to abortion care after 20 weeks with H.R. 36, to now fighting to deny women access to the resources many need to obtain abortion care early in their pregnancies. This vote on today’s anniversary is just another reminder that while Roe may be the law of the land, it doesn’t guarantee women’s access to abortion care. Instead of jeopardizing women’s health by passing sweeping bans to pander to their base, it’s time for Congress to lift the restrictions on abortion coverage so women can make decisions based on their individual circumstances and health care needs.


NAF is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for more than half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia.

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