The So-Called "Equality Act"
On Passage
05/17/2019
House Roll Call No. 217
116th Congress, 1st Session

Passed: 236-173 (see complete tally)
H.R. 5 contains language that could be construed to create a right to demand abortion from health care providers, and likely would place at risk the authority of state and federal government to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions.  The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by defining "sex" to include "pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition." It is well established that abortion will be regarded as a "related medical condition." H.R. 5 goes on to expand this anti-discrimination provision by stating that "pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions," and would add "establishments that provide health care" to the list of covered "public accommodations." What these provisions will mean, taken together, is that health care establishments and individuals providing healthcare will be required to provide abortion as a "treatment" for pregnancy.  H.R. 5's new definition of "public accommodations" includes any "establishment that provides health care." The bill has an additional rule of construction that the term "establishment…shall not be construed to be limited to a physical facility or place." These provisions would apply to individual health care providers who object to abortion, including those with religious objections.  These pro-abortion requirements may also remove the ability of non-physical entities like federal and state governments to exclude abortion from health care coverage, as under the Hyde Amendment.  National Right to Life Committee opposed passage of H.R. 5, which passed the House, 236-173, on May 16, 2019 (House Roll Call No. 217). The bill was supported by 228 Democrats and 8 Republicans. It was opposed by 173 Republicans. 7 Democrats and 16 Republicans did not vote.


Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 217
Votes For : 236
Votes Against : 173
Not Voting : 23

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