President Obama said Thursday he is “deeply committed to protecting" abortion rights after House Republicans approved a bill prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion.

Obama blasted the legislative efforts by Republicans, saying the bill would "intrude on women's reproductive freedom and access to healthcare and unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today."

ADVERTISEMENT
"The federal government should not be injecting itself into decisions best made between women, their families, and their doctors," Obama said in a statement. "I am also deeply committed to continuing our work to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, promote adoptions, and minimize the need for abortion."

Republicans scrambled to pass the bill after pulling back legislation that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Female members of the Republican Caucus voiced opposition to provisions in the bill that would provide a rape exception only if the crime was reported to police.

Critics noted estimates that some seven in 10 rapes go unreported, often due to fears of retribution.

The White House threatened to veto both pieces of legislation.

Republican leaders said they wanted to pass an abortion bill Thursday to coincide with the March for Life, an anti-abortion-rights protest that annually occurs on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Obama hailed that decision in his statement, saying it "protects a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health, and reaffirms a fundamental American value: that government should not intrude in our most private and personal family matters."

"Today, as we reflect on this critical moment in our history, may we all rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons," Obama said.