Pro-Life Congressmen Seek Support for Limiting Tax Funding of Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
January 29, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two pro-life members of Congress are seeking support for the annual provisions that are attached to Congressional spending bills that prevent taxpayer funding of abortions. Representatives Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, and Heath Shuler, a North Carolina Democrat, are behind the effort.
The members have authored a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that dozens of pro-life lawmakers are expected to sign their names to, asking her to keep these provisions.
The Hyde Amendment is the most well-known of the provisions. Attached to spending bills since the 1970s, the amendment prevents direct taxpayer funding of abortions in almost all circumstances.
According to research from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion group formerly affiliated with Planned Parenthood, the Hyde Amendment is responsible for a reduction in the number of abortions by as much as 18-38 percent.
Other provisions include limiting taxpayer funded abortions in the District of Columbia, federal employee health plans, on military base hospitals, and measures limiting research on human embryos and providing conscience clauses for medical professionals.
"As Congress begins its annual appropriations process, important pro-life provisions that have long been included in appropriations bills may be in jeopardy," the congressmen write in a letter to colleagues. "We believe that failure to include all of the current policies with regard to the right to life will mark a radical departure from a policy many Americans support."
The letter is addressed to Speaker Pelosi, Appropriations Chair David Obey, and Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter — all pro-abortion lawmakers.
If the pro-life provisions are removed, the pro-life House members say they will ask the Rules Committee to allow amendments on the House floor to restore them.
"If this Congress intends to rescind these riders, at a minimum the American people deserve a full debate with an up-or-down vote," Jordan and Shuler add.
The pair expect to send their letter on February 13.
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