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House Abortion Bill Increases Spending: CBO

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TRENT FRANKS
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at House Judiciary Committee hearing to discuss the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act. Republicans in the House of Representatives on Tuesday make their most concerted effort of the year to change U.S. abortion law with legislation that would ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches the age of 20 weeks. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) | AP

A Republican bill that passed the House of Representatives June 18 banning abortions after 20 weeks conflicts with another one of the party's priorities -- to cut spending.

The Congressional Budget Office scored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and said Thursday the bill would increase Medicaid costs from $75 million to $400 million over 10 years, mostly due to an increase in births. Estimating that one-quarter of pregnancies that would have been terminated after 20 weeks would instead, under the law, be carried to term, the CBO said federal spending for Medicaid would increase by $225 million.

The CBO also predicted that the bill would add another $170 million in Medicaid costs to states over 10 years, since the program is partly funded by the states.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) sponsored the bill, and caused a controversy when he said he opposed including an exception for cases of rape because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." The bill was later amended to allow an exemption for rapes.

Franks has elsewhere opposed increases in government spending. In decrying the passage of the economic stimulus, he said, "Obviously there is no limit to Democrats’ capacity to contort the English language in their attempt to depict today’s bill, a massive government spending spree, as a 'stimulus' for an ailing economy."

Franks' spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The bill is not likely to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the White House has pledged to veto it.

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