Pro-Life Group Urges Congress to Defeat Omnibus Bill Over DC Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Urges Congress to Defeat Omnibus Bill Over DC Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 10
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A prominent pro-life organization is urging members of Congress to defeat the omnibus spending bill the House and Senate are considering because it funds abortions in the nation’s capital. National Right to Life told lawmakers today that it will include the vote on the bill in its annual pro-life rankings of Congress.

The omnibus spending bill combines several spending measures that must be approved soon to fund the federal government.

However, it includes a provision that would overturn a longstanding law that stops abortion funding in the District of Columbia.

That’s why NRLC wrote members of Congress to urge them to vote against it.

"The National Right to Life Committee urges you to vote against passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 3288), because the bill would lift a longstanding prohibition on the use of funds appropriated by Congress to pay for elective abortions in the District of Columbia," the group said in a letter obtained.

NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson noted how, "for many years," Congress has approved the Dornan Amendment "prohibiting the use of any appropriated funds to pay for abortions."

"Prior to the initial adoption of the congressional ban, public funds were used to pay for over 4,000 abortions annually in the nation’s capital," Johnson notes.

"If the pro-life policy is lifted by enactment of H.R. 3288, public funding of elective abortion will resume, and the predictable result will be that the number of abortions performed will increase, probably by around 1,000 per year," he explains.

In addition to any vote on the bill itself, Johnson said National Right to Life would also score votes on the Rule for debate and any Republican-sponsored Motion to Commit (to send the bill back to committee) because those votes have implications for the bill and, ultimately, implications for increasing abortions.

Johnson said abortion advocates have used accounting trickery to cover up the abortion funding under the bill.

He said they would "assert that the bill language (found in Division C, Title VIII, Section 814 of H.R. 3288) would only allow the use of ‘local’ funds for abortion, not ‘federal’ funds," he says in the letter.

"In reality, this distinction is entirely contrived – an attempt to paper over the fact that the entire budget for the District of Columbia (including locally generated revenues) is appropriated by Congress," he explained.

As a result, all money the District of Columbia spends is federal funds from American taxpayers and opening up abortion funding directly results in taxpayer funding of abortions in Washington.

"NRLC believes that the defense of innocent human life is a matter of sufficient gravity to fully justify" votes against the bill, Johnson concludes.

As has reported, the House is expected to vote on the omnibus bill today — a bill that could have had additional pro-life concerns.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has asked lawmakers there for unanimous consent to stop the debate on the health care bill and to allow a vote on the omnibus bill in that chamber.

However, pro-life Sen. Jim DeMint, on behalf of almost all of the Republican members of the Senate, has pledged to filibuster the omnibus bill if the abortion funding is not removed.

ACTION: Contact members of the House and Senate at 202-224-3121 or and and urge them to oppose the omnibus bill because of the taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia.

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