The overall bill would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prohibit the use of federal funds for any insurance plan that includes coverage of abortion. Additionally, it would give statutory authority to annually reauthorized bans on funds from federal agencies for abortion.
Pitts' amendment sought to address criticisms from Democrats that the original measure would not include an exemption from the federal abortion funding ban for any woman who was raped. The change dropped the word “forcibly” from its description of rapes that were exempted from the ban.
But the change was not enough for the panel's Democrats.
“This new version is just as bad,” Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) said about the bill's provisions that would allow health care professionals to refuse to perform abortions if they were morally opposed to them.
The subcommittee also rejected several Democratic amendments that would have watered down various provisions of the bill. The changes come amid other GOP efforts on abortion.