House Committee Will Vote on International Abortion Funding Tuesday

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 11, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House Committee Will Vote on International Abortion Funding Tuesday Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 11
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Debate continues in the House of Representatives on State Department funding bills and a pro-abortion provision that would overturn current policy preventing taxpayers from having to pay for abortions abroad. Abortion advocates are trying to rescind a Bush administration provision stopping funding to pro-abortion groups.

The provision, known as the Mexico City Policy, prevents any taxpayer funds from going to groups that do abortions or lobby other nations to overturn their laws prohibiting them.

Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat who heads one of the Appropriations Committee’s subcommittees, is heading up the pro-abortion effort.

She claims the language she added to the bill doesn’t undo Bush’s limits on tax-funded abortions, but as one leading pro-life advocate told, the language guts the limits by allowing pro-abortion groups to get tax funds as long as they promote contraception.

In addition to her language ditching the Bush policy, Lowey has also included language in the State/Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that would overturn U.S. law preventing taxpayer funding of groups that are involved in forced abortion programs.

Specifically the Kemp-Kasten law, which has been on the books for years, has resulted in the denial of federal funds to the UNFPA because the UN agency has been involved in China’s one-child family planning program that involves forced abortions and sterilizations.

Lowey’s language on Kemp-Kasten sets a deadline for the Bush administration to determine whether a program like the UNFPA violates the law and it requires officials to offer more proof that the program in question doesn’t qualify for funds.

According to a pro-life advocate on Capitol Hill who provided with more information, the new Lowey provision sets up a so-called “dollar-for-dollar” withholding construct that would require that total funds appropriated for UNFPA be reduced by the amount spent in China.

Ultimately, such language would be an accounting gimmick under which funding for UNFPA can be increased to compensate for the amount to be withheld because of its involvement in forced abortions.

The language may not specifically overturn the Kemp-Kasten law but it could place so many burdens on the federal government that it weakens it severely.

Leading groups are calling on pro-life advocates to contact their members of Congress if they serve on the Appropriations Committee and to urge votes against the Lowey language on the Mexico City Policy and Kemp-Kasten law.

Go to https://www.House/gov to find members of Congress and view their web sites to determine if they are members of the committee.