Omnibus Bill Funds DC Abortions, Planned Parenthood

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 16, 2010   |   6:09PM   |   Washington, DC

The omnibus appropriations bill the Senate will consider this weekend or early next week to fund the federal government contains a laundry list of goodies for pro-abortion groups.

The House already approved a continuing resolution bill to fund the federal government since Congressional Democrats have been able to get bills to fund its various parts approved.

The Senate is not considering the continuing resolution but may vote on an omnibus bill, if it is not successfully filibustered, that would provide taxpayer funding for abortions in the nation’s capital and give additional tax money to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.

The FY11 omnibus undermines the prohibition on abortion funding in the District of Columbia, which Democrats overturned last year to fund abortions in Washington for the first time in many years. Because Congress approves all D.C. appropriations it can determine whether tax dollars can pay for abortions or not.

The legislation allocates $327 million for the Title X Family Planning Program which provides funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. This is a $10 million increase over last year and a $44 million increase over the last four years.

The omnibus also allocates $710 million for international family planning/reproductive health which provides funding to organizations that promote and perform abortion overseas. This is a $62 million increase over last year and a $270 million increase over the last four years.

Further, the appropriations bill establishes an Office of Global Women’s Issues at the department of State headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, and the position of Gender Integration and Development Advisor at USAID. In prior efforts to establish these positions and offices, pro-life leaders have expressed concern that the offices will support international efforts to promote abortion.

Also, new language added to the gender-based violence section directs the Secretary of State to ensure international aid programs are consistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions 1820 and 1888. These resolutions affirm the CEDAW Convention which the U.S. has not ratified and pro-life groups oppose because CEDAW provisions have been interpreted as grounds to overturn pro-life laws. 

The omnibus presents a bit of good news for pro-life advocates in that it does not include the pro-abortion Lautenberg amendment which was in the State, Foreign Operations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year.

The Lautenberg amendment would have amended the Foreign Assistance Act to prohibit all future administrations from implementing the Mexico City Policy, which President Barack Obama overturned in 2009 during his first week in office, that prohibits sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote or perform abortions.

And the omnibus contains the pro-life Smith amendment on abortion funding for federal employees which was omitted in the Financial Services bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year. It is language pro-life advocates hoped to include in the ObamaCare bill that ensure the insurance programs for federal employees can’t pay for abortions with tax dollars.

With the abortion funding provisions and those that promote abortion or funnel additional taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, pro-life lawmakers will be given an additional reason to vote against the omnibus bill and potentially filibuster it.