Anti-abortion bills are a dime a dozen, but as it turns out the latest one to pass the U.S. House of Representatives has some detrimental side effects for small businesses. The House voted to pass the Republican-backed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act on Thursday, the anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v Wade, which establishes a woman's right to abortion.
The bill is the latest in an ongoing chronicle of Republican attempts to curtail abortion rights. Recently, the GOP-controlled House scheduled a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have banned abortions for women beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. That vote didn't pan out after House Republican women pushed back against party leaders and complained that the bill unfairly required rape victims seeking abortions to provide police reports. In 2013, a similar bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said in a statement after the vote that the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is an attack on working women's right to reproductive freedom.
"Exactly 42 years after the Supreme Court ruled American women had the right to make health care decisions free from government interference, Republican men continue to legislate like it's 1950," he said.
Although taxpayer dollars aren't actually used to fund abortions anywhere, the bill is trying to ban tax credits for health insurance coverage that includes abortion care. The result: a tax increase on small businesses around the country that currently provide comprehensive health coverage to their employees.
Marnie Ochs-Raleigh, CEO of website development firm Evolve Systems and president of the Minnesota chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners, says she has her own thoughts as a woman about the bill, but as a business owner her concern is pretty straightforward.
"I thrive on creating jobs and meeting our client's goals," she says. "Any increase in taxes concerns me - no matter how that tax increase is structured."
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