Pro-Life Groups Applaud GOP Pledge Against Tax-Funded Abortions, ObamaCare
by Steven Ertelt
September 23, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — House Republican leaders unveiled their new Pledge to America document today that contains a promise to push for a permanent ban on federal funding of abortions should voters replace the pro-abortion Democrats who currently control Congress with GOP lawmakers.
"We will permanently end taxpayer funding of abortion and codify the Hyde Amendment," the Pledge to America promises.
"We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion, this includes enacting into law what is known as the Hyde Amendment. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals," the draft document says.
The action plan includes a pledge to repeal and replace the recently enacted Obama health care law, which contains taxpayer funding of abortions that pro-life groups had to work overtime to stop in three states so far.
The National Right to Life Committee commended the Republican leadership for introducing a plan of action that contains the promotion of pro-life principles.
"We welcome the Republican leadership’s commitment to repeal and replace the Obama health care law, which is a top priority for the pro-life movement because that law, when fully implemented, would result in the rationing of lifesaving medical treatments, and an array of federal subsidies for abortion as well," NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson told LifeNews.com.
"In addition, a permanent government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion is long overdue, and we applaud the inclusion of that legislation in this action plan," he said.
The legislation the Pledge to America refers to is the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 5939), an NRLC-backed bill introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) on July 29, which already has 175 co-sponsors.
The Susan B. Anthony List, which led an effort to generate comments to GOP leaders in favor of a pro-life agenda, also applauded the pro-life portions of the new pledge document.
Today, in its Pledge to America the pro-life Republican House leadership has echoed the voices of pro-life Americans calling for a Congress that will protect life," SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said.
She told LifeNews.com: "The pro-life legislative priorities included in their Pledge reinforce Republican Party unity as we approach these critical mid-term elections. We applaud House GOP leaders for making a priority of codifying the Hyde Amendment and passing consensus legislation like the government-wide ban on taxpayer funding of abortion."
Dannenfelser says she also wants GOP leaders, if they get the chance to run the House, to press for defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses.
Kristan Hawkins, the director of Students for Life of America, also applauded the new Republican document and told LifeNews.com it shows there doesn’t have to be a "truce" or compromise between social and fiscal issues.
In the Pledge for America released today, the GOP leadership has shown it is possible to stand for both life and liberty. I am thankful that the GOP continues its legacy of protecting innocent human life, and hopefully they will back up their promises with solid action come November if they take the majority," Hawkins said.
The document focuses primarily on economic issues with a reference in the "preamble" section to pro-life concerns.
"We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values," the document is expected to say.
When it comes to abortion, the Republican "Pledge to America" says "Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to using tax dollars to pay for abortion, and the executive order issued by President Obama in conjunction with congressional passage of the health care law is inadequate to ensure taxpayer funds are not used in this manner."
On ObamaCare, the health care bill President Barack Obama signed that funds abortions, the Pledge is also in line with the thoughts of pro-life advocates.
Republicans say they will immediately take action to repeal Obamacare and will "offer a plan to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care
with common-sense solutions focused on lowering costs and protecting American
The Pledge is an updated version of the famous "Contract" pro-life former Speaker New Gingrich and Republicans unveiled in 1994 that led to a landslide over pro-abortion Democrats and pro-life Republican leaders re-taking Congress.
The agenda items are based on the feedback the party has received at its "America Speaking Out" web site, which collected 160,000 ideas and received 1 million votes and comments on the proposals, according to organizer Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a pro-life California congressman.
Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life women’s group that helps pro-life candidates, launched a campaign to get pro-life people to press the pro-life agenda on the America Speaking Out web site.
In addition to funding abortions via the ObamaCare legislation, Congressional Democrats also allowed taxpayer financing of abortions in the nation’s capital — making it so abortions are paid for with federal funds in the District of Columbia for the first time in more than a decade.
Democrats in the House also denied pro-life Rep. Chris Smith a vote on an amendment to restore a consistent application of Kemp-Kasten for all organizations the federal government funds, including the UNFPA. That would have stopped the Obama administration from allowing taxpayer funding of the UNFPA, which has been found to be complicit in the forced abortion one-child policies in China.
Smith also wanted to offer an amendment to limit international family planning funds to those organizations that certify that they will not perform abortions or lobby for the legalization of abortion.
That would have the effect of reversing President Barack Obama’s decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy and force taxpayers to fund groups that promote and perform abortions overseas. Democrats prevented a vote on that amendment, too.
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