Pro-Abortion Groups Target Pro-Life Bill Banning Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 25, 2011   |   5:23PM   |   Washington, DC

Three pro-abortion groups are mounting an all-out attack on a bill the House of Representatives will likely vote on soon that bans taxpayer funding of abortions across all government programs.

NARAL, Emily’s List and MoveOn are attacking the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, a bill the House Judiciary Committee approved earlier this month on a 23-14 vote that would ban taxpayer funding of abortions across all federal government departments and programs. The committee also removed a provision concerning forcible rape that abortion advocates had used to misconstrue the intent of the legislation.

The legislation had come under considerable attack from abortion advocates and Planned Parenthood. They have based their attacks on the bill on false claims that it would not allow abortion funding for all women who are victims of rape and incest because of changes to the definition of rape under the bill. However, the changed language has been dropped from the bill, supposedly neutralizing the issue.

However, pro-abortion activists are bringing them back.

NARAL president Nancy Keenan emailed her group’s supporters painting a significantly different picture of the legislation, and claiming the bill “could force sexual-assault survivors who access abortion care to prove the assault occurred.”

“Any bill that spurs the Internal Revenue Service to audit rape and incest survivors is beyond the pale. Yet Speaker Boehner has called this legislation a top priority. That’s why we’re teaming up with EMILY’s List and to tell Speaker Boehner to stop this horrible bill,” she claimed. Although Keenan gave no proof as to how this would supposedly occur, she did admit the bill “originally included a provision that would have redefined rape” but that lawmakers decided to “strike it out” of the bill.

In a statement, Emily’s List added more attacks.

“Talk about putting government in our bedrooms,” its president, Stephanie Schriock, claimed. “The bait and switch Boehner and his allies have pulled on Americans continues with this latest major intrusion into the private medical decisions of women and their families — at a time when Americans want Washington focused on jobs, not prying into our private lives.”

During the committee debate, the party-line vote saw Republicans on the panel supporting the measure and Democrats on the committee voting against it, with the exception of Puerto Rico Del. Pedro Pierluisi. The vote now sends the legislation to the House floor, where it is expected to easily pass and be sent to the Senate. That’s where the difficulty in moving the legislation forward will begin because Senate Democrats are led by and controlled by abortion backers who may not allow a vote on the bill.

HR 3, the government-wide permanent prohibition on taxpayer funding for abortion, was introduced by Reps. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and Dan Lipinski, an Illinois Democrat.

After the vote, Smith told he was thankful for the committee approving the bill.

“I want to thank my good friend, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) for his leadership on the Judiciary Committee and his unwavering defense of the right to life for all human beings,” Smith said. “I also thank Chairman Lamar Smith and my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for their strong support of this important bill which will ensure that taxpayers are not complicit in paying for the taking of innocent human life.”
“Abortion is not health care. And polls show that taxpayers strongly oppose publicly funded abortion—67 percent according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll,” Smith said. “Our new bill is designed to permanently end any U.S. government financial support for abortion whether it be direct funding or by tax credits or any other subsidy.”
“President Obama has said he wants abortion to be rare,” Smith said. “Well, Mr. Obama, here is a bill for you. 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 also codifies the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause that is part of the Hyde amendment. The conscience clause ensures that recipients of federal funding do not discriminate against health care providers, including doctors, nurses and hospitals, because the providers do not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
“The conscience clause is a critical part of the law which protects health care providers who do not want to take part in the abortion business,” Smith said. “Without it, people could be forced to participate in something they strongly believe to be morally wrong. Without it, faith-based hospitals could lose funding.”

The measure, which enjoys strong support from pro-life groups makes what are annual battles to stop abortion funding permanent federal law. When it comes to taxpayer funding of abortions from the federal government, pro-life advocates have to fight several battles annually in Congress to ensure abortions are not funded in programs ranging from HHS and USAID to health care and the District of Columbia.

When Congress changes hands from Republicans to Democrats, these provisions are sometimes lifted — as in the case of taxpayer funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, which is now currently allowed after years of prohibiting them.