Self-described "progressives" often use the terms mentioned in the same sentence, but a GOP congressman – and many others – says "abortion" is not "health care."
Yesterday, Representative Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) introduced the Abortion Is Not Health Care Act, which would end the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of out-of-pocket abortion costs as a medical expense. The GOP lawmaker spoke on Wednesday with host Tony Perkins on Washington Watch.
"Most people don't realize that you can claim an abortion as an out-of-pocket medical expense under the IRS code and get a deduction for that," Biggs said on the radio. "People who are pro-abortion … want the world to think that that is an integral component to normal health care – and it simply isn't."
Instead, said Biggs, "it's basically snuffing out the life of one person – and I don't know how you can even begin to justify that and call it health care."
The 13-line bill, which would add a new subsection to Section 213 of the IRS Code of 1986, simply states:
"An amount paid during the taxable year for an abortion shall not be taken into account under subsection (a). The amendment made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act."
The measure, which has yet to assigned a bill number, has the support of various lawmakers and organizations, including Arizona Right to Life.
"Healthcare heals the body and mind and saves lives," says Rachel LeBeau, executive director of Arizona Right to Life, in a statement on the congressman's website. "Abortion is the opposite of healthcare – it ends the life of a human being and can severely damage the body and mind of the aborted child's mother.
Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, says a child in the womb "is as human as you or I." He continues:
"Congressman Biggs deserves praise for his bill making it clear that the deliberate destruction of an unborn child is not healthcare," says McClusky. "The American experience has always been one of hope for future generations – our laws should reflect that hope and not the cynicism of abortion."
On his website, Rep. Biggs maintains that members of Congress have a duty to protect life from the moment of conception. That's why he finds it "unfathomable" that Democrats on Capitol Hill continue to support the practice of abortion – and even allow taxpayer dollars to subsidize it.