District of Columbia Officials Ready to Pay for Abortions Once Obama Signs Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

District of Columbia Officials Ready to Pay for Abortions Once Obama Signs Bill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 15
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House and Senate have approved a bill that will overturn the 13-year-long ban on paying for abortions in the nation’s capital. Once President Barack Obama signs the bill, which he is expected to do, officials in the District of Columbia say they are ready to move ahead with taxpayer-funded abortions.

The Senate approved an omnibus spending bill on Sunday that lifts the Dornan amendment that prohibited abortion funding in the District.

With local officials now making the decision to use taxpayer funds for abortions, they tell Fox News they are already making preparations.

"We’ve already started to study the issues," a City Council staffer said.

The staffer suggested the abortion funding issue would likely come up next year and that abortion funding could be added to the D.C. Healthcare Alliance, which is the city of Washington’s publicly-funded health care program for low-income residents.

FOX News indicated Council Chairman Vincent Gray called the move to allow abortion funding a "bold step" by Congress.

Doxie McCoy, spokeswoman for Gray, discussed the situation and said the city council would likely support any legislation to enact the change, although it is not known if a bill is needed to make it happen.

"I’m not aware of any objections," she said of city council members opposing abortion funding.

The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, a former Planned Parenthood affiliate, notes that there were 7,230 abortions in the District of Columbia in 2005, which is 54 abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age. That is a figure that puts Washington as one of the highest abortion-rates of any American city.

Guttmacher indicates the abortion rate in the District has declined 20 percent since 2000, but the taxpayer funding will likely make abortions go up.

National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson wrote to members of Congress during the debate on the bill and said, "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."

"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 explained.

When Obama signs the omnibus spending bill into law, that process will begin.

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