Members of Congress Pledge to Protect Pro-Life Riders on Tax-Funded Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Members of Congress Pledge to Protect Pro-Life Riders on Tax-Funded Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 25
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Over 180 members of Congress on Wednesday signed their names to a letter that tells Congressional leaders they will fight to protect pro-lifer riders in the budget bill that stop various forms of taxpayer funded abortions.

Representatives Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, and Heath Shuler, a North Carolina Democrat, are behind the effort.

The letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the nearly 200 lawmakers asking her to keep these provisions.

"We respectfully request that the pro-life riders be included in any legislation reported out of the Appropriations Committee. 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 a majority of Americans support," it says.

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.

The members ask for a debate and vote on any rider that may be rescinded.

“If this Congress intends to rescind these riders, at a minimum, the American people deserve a full debate with an up-or-down vote," the letter says.

These provisions are contained in multiple appropriations bills and must be retained each year for the policies to remain in place.

The provisions deal with issues such as funding for abortion, conscience protection for health care providers and embryo research. Removing any of these provisions would represent an erosion of current pro-life law.

The letter was also sent to Appropriations Chair David Obey and Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter — both pro-abortion lawmakers.

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