The House today approved legislation that will put in place a complete ban on taxpayer funding of abortions that ensures abortions are not directly funded in any federal governmental program or department.
The legislation combines several policies that must be enacted every year in Congressional battles and puts them into law where they will not be in jeopardy of being overturned every time Congress changes hands from pro-life lawmakers to those who support abortions.
This bill would permanently prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions in Obamacare health plans starting the next plan year. This bill also protects Americans of conscience by requiring the full disclosure of abortion coverage in Obamacare plans so people can make informed decisions about their healthcare plans right now.
The House passed HR 7, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, by a vote of 238-183. Three Democratic Members voted in support of HR 7 (Lipinski-IL, Peterson-MN, and Cuellar-TX ), no Republicans voted against the bill. 11 Members did not vote.
More than twenty peer reviewed studies indicate that over two million lives have been saved since the Hyde Amendment was introduced in 1976, according to a report from late last year by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
“Two million people who would have been aborted instead survived because public funds were unavailable to effectuate their violent demise, while their mothers benefited from prenatal health care and support,” said pro-life New Jersey Republican Congressman Chris Smith. “Two million survivors have had the opportunity to live and enjoy the first and most basic of all human rights—the right to life.”
“Polling consistently shows that a supermajority of Americans—61% according to a Marist poll released just yesterday—oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, and 8 in 10 Americans think laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the health of her unborn child,” said Smith, co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.
“Growing numbers of Americans are often shocked to learn that the methods of abortion include dismemberment of a child’s fragile body, including decapitation and the severing of arms and legs, or the use of drugs like mifepristone that starve the child to death before forcibly expelling him or her from the safety of the womb.”
Smith also explained each provision of the bill, which would:
- “Make the Hyde Amendment and other current abortion funding prohibitions permanent and government wide.
- Ensure that the Affordable Care Act, until repeal, conforms with the Hyde Amendment.
- Until a new plan year begins, ensure full disclosure, transparency and the prominent display of the extent to which any health insurance plan on the exchange funds abortion.”
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins responded with the following comments:
“The 115th Congress has started on strong footing by passing this vital legislation ensuring that no American taxpayer dollars are used to pay for elective abortions. Following an election in which voters chose a pro-life president and a pro-life Congress, our nation is moving toward a new era where all human beings, born and unborn, are protected under the law. Abortion is not healthcare, and should not be funded since we know government funding of abortion increases it. Passage of this bill is a victory not just for taxpayers but women, and their unborn children.
“Today’s vote reflects the reality that Americans are becoming more pro-life as science has increased our understanding of the humanity of unborn children. This bill restores the status quo against government funding or subsidizing abortion, a position supported by 61% of Americans.
“For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life provisions have been renewed annually to prevent federal funds from being used to pay for abortions or healthcare plans which include abortion coverage. For over 40 years, Republicans and Democrats have come together to ensure that despite our differences, we should at least be able to agree that the government should not subsidize abortion. Obamacare violates this longstanding consensus.
“The Senate must take up this bill to ensure that government no longer spends people’s hard earned money on insurance with elective abortion. We must pray and work to end abortion in America until every child is welcomed into the world and protected under our laws. Ending taxpayer funding of abortion is a good first step on this journey,” concluded Perkins.
A majority of Americans object to the use of taxpayer money for funding abortion, according to numerous polls — including a survey CNN conducted showing Americans oppose public funding of abortion by a margin of 61% to 35%.
The bill will also mitigate concerns about abortion funding in the various loopholes in the Obamacare national health care bill that various pro-life organizations warned about during debate on the law. The legislation did not contain language banning funding of abortions in its provisions and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would fix that problem.
A prior Kaiser Foundation study found that 6.1 million women will gain elective abortion coverage under Obamacare through the Medicaid expansion and new federal premium subsidies. H.R. 7 would essentially codify the executive order used in 2009 by President Obama to secure the final votes needed from pro-life Democrats in order to pass the health care overhaul.