Democrats Blast Pro-Life Bills to Cut Tax-Funded Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 9, 2011   |   12:58PM   |   Washington, DC

Democrats blasted two bills today at a press conference that would help ensure Americans don’t have to fund abortions with their taxpayer dollars — either through the federal government or the new Obamacare law.

Rep. Diane DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, led the press conference that also featured pro-abortion Reps. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Louise Slaughter of New York, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Barbara lee of California, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Henry Waxman of California, Frank Pallone of New Jersey and others.

“I’m surprised, given that the number one issue right now is jobs, that the Republican leadership would make [this] extreme position one of their top three priorities of the session,” DeGette said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Barbara Boxer, of California, is also spearheading the fight against the bills in the Senate — should the House approve them and sent them to the upper chamber.

She is using a new trick to make the bills appear to be something else — by saying they would prohibit people from purchasing health insurance plans that pay for abortions.

“It’s not federal funding,” she said, according to CNS News. “We’re saying people have the right to get insurance, whatever insurance they want, and they get a tax credit for providing insurance. We’re not spending federal funds on abortion. So, what they are doing is twisting and turning what the meaning is of federal funds that has never been contemplated before.”

“I mean, if you start using their [Republicans’] definition, I can tell you right now there’s no end to it. They can say, ‘We’re going to raise taxes for any family whose daughter ever had an abortion.’ I mean, let’s get real here. They’re twisting the meaning. It is not federal funding,” she claimed.

The two bills that concern Democrats — but will likely enjoy large support from the public — are Rep. Chris Smith’s HR 3, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” that would eliminate federal taxpayer funding of abortion across all federal departments and programs. The other bill is Rep. Joe Pitts’s HR 358, “Protect Life Act,” that specifically ensures there is no taxpayer funding of abortions in Obamacare.

On Tuesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee took up HR 3 and the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will consider HR 358 today.

NARAL and Planned Parenthood joined the press event to spearhead opposition to the two bills.

But Smith, who is the co-chairman of the pro-life caucus in the House, defended the bills.

“Abortion is not health care,” Smith said. “Polls show that taxpayers strongly oppose publicly funded abortion–67 percent, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. For decades, a patchwork of short-term policies have prevented abortion funding in many programs authorized by Congress, but it is time for a single, government-wide permanent protection against taxpayer funding spent for elective abortion.”

“This legislation would establish a comprehensive policy prohibiting public funding for elective abortion in all federal programs,” he said.

“The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act permanently bans federal funding of abortion and protects conscience rights of individuals and institutions by empowering the courts with the authority to prevent and redress actual or threatened violations of conscience,” Smith said. “President Obama has said he wants abortion to be rare. This bill does that. Even the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, says that taxpayer funding bans are a proven abortion reduction method. According to Guttmacher, studies show that when abortion is not publicly funded, abortions in the covered population are reduced by roughly 25 percent.”

The bill enjoys the support of groups like the Family Research Council.

“If House leaders are looking for places to cut spending, FRC knows where to start–taxpayer-funded abortion,” said FRC president Tony Perkins.

“Americans were already overwhelmingly supportive of such an idea, but with stunning new evidence from Lila Rose and Kermit Gosnell’s horror house, it is abundantly clear that taxpayers should have no role in an industry loaded with fraud, corruption, abuse, and violence,” he added. “President Obama urged Americans to find common ground on the controversial issue of abortion. Americans have come together, 67% of us, in what may be the only truly bi-partisan agreement possible: That whatever our differences on abortion, we can agree that the federal government should not subsidize it. This is the common ground on abortion in America. H.R. 3 would make that common ground statutory law.”