Pro-Life Democrat Saves Abortion Funding Limits Obama Suggested Overturning
by Steven Ertelt
June 15, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — One of the rare pro-life Democrats in Congress has saved one of the limits on abortion funding that President Barack Obama suggested be removed from the federal budget. The House of Representatives will consider the particular spending bill this week that has the pro-life language included.
When Obama released his budget suggestions in May, he asked members of Congress to allow the Legal Services Corporation to use tax dollars to pay for pro-abortion litigation.
The Obama budget recommendation changed the language governing funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and loosened it to allow LSC grantees to conduct abortion litigation. It prohibited direct funding of abortion litigation but overturned restrictions preventing LSC grantees from shifting other taxpayer funds to a separate account for pro-abortion activities.
However, Rep. Alan Mollohan, a pro-life Democrat from West Virginia who is the subcommittee chairman, came to the rescue.
When he wrote H.R. 2487, the FY10 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill that normally has the LSC abortion litigation limits, he ignored Obama’s suggestions and kept the pro-life provision in place.
Mollohan also kept limits on using taxpayer funds to pay for abortion for prisoners who reside in federal prisons and prohibitions on patenting human beings for research purposes.
This week, the House is expected to hold a debate on the bill and there is a remote possibility that abortion advocates could propose an amendment to remove the LSC abortion litigation limits, but pro-life lawmakers would likely actively oppose any such attempt.
The debate on the CJS appropriations bill comes after the House debate and vote on another spending bill that authorized funding for the State Department.
There, pro-life advocates were unsuccessful in getting House Democrats to allow a vote on an amendment to make sure that the new Obama Office of Women’s Issues would not be allowed to use tax money promoting abortion on an international scale.
The House will consider several other bills that funds the various departments of the federal government and more battles on abortion funding are expected.
The budget for the Financial Services Appropriations bill proposed by the Obama administration requested new language to permit taxpayer funding for abortion in the District of Columbia for the first time since 1996.
A House subcommittee is expected to review that bill next week and the full committee and full House will debate and vote on it in July.
Concerning the Legal Services Corporation, National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson previously told LifeNews.com that pro-life advocates have opposed this fungible move for years as, similar arrangements in previous years allowed LSC grantees to file legal challenges against pro-life laws using taxpayer funds.
"Back in the 1980s, some Legal Services Corporation grantees were deeply involved in pro-abortion litigation, until Congress told the LSC to stay out of either side of the abortion fight," Johnson recalls.
"Now, the Obama White House wants to remove the laws that stopped LSC pro-abortion activism, and replace them with bookkeeping requirements that are essentially meaningless," he explained last month.
Although it is a small move that won’t garner much media attention, Johnson said allowing the LSC to engage in pro-abortion legal activities merely adds to Obama’s growing pro-abortion record.
"This is just one more example of the Obama Administration’s relentless, step-by-step, week-by-week advancing of the pro-abortion agenda, even as it distracts the gullible with chatter about how they are seeking ‘common ground’ and ‘abortion reduction,’" he concluded. "We say, watch what they are doing, not what they are saying."
Related web sites:
National Right to Life – https://www.nrlc.org
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