Dear Congress: Get Taxpayers Out of the Abortion Business

National   |   Tom McClusky   |   Jan 9, 2014   |   11:55AM   |   Washington, DC

This morning there is a hearing on H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.   While abortion itself is a divisive issue (with a majority of Americans being pro-life), most people agree that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for it.

A CNN poll from April 11, 2011 found that 61% of Americans oppose using public funds for abortion and a Quinnipiac University poll from January 2010 found that 67% of Americans opposed funding abortion.   Here is our primer on the legislation.  Please call your Member of Congress to support H.R. 7 and call for a vote soon on the legislation.

H.R. 7, The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act was introduced by Pro-life Caucus Co-Chairs Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and would establish a government-wide permanent prohibition on funding for elective abortion and insurance coverage that includes elective abortion.  It would also close abortion-funding loopholes created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), prohibit tax-preferred status for abortion through health savings accounts (and other similar arrangements) and itemized deductions.

No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would not affect either the ability of an individual to pay for an abortion (or for abortion coverage) through private funds, or the ability of an entity to provide separate abortion coverage.  H.R. 7 does not affect funding for family planning services.

At the end of Title I of the U.S. Code, the legislation would add the Hyde Amendment that now covers programs funded through the Labor/Health and Human Services appropriations bill, the Act also would make permanent such laws as the Helms Amendment (no funds for abortion as a method of family planning overseas) and the Smith Amendment (no funds for health plans covering elective abortions for federal employees).

Statistics bolster the argument that direct federal funding for abortion increases the number of abortions performed.

  • In 1993, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Federal Government would pay for as many as 675,000 abortions annually were the Hyde Amendment and other measures not in place to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion in government supported programs.
  • According to a 2007 Guttmacher report, the Hyde Amendment ban on federal funding for abortion has prevented between “18-35%” of women from having an abortion. In other words, unrestricted federal funding for abortion will increase the number of women obtaining an abortion by an average of 25%.

Regardless of one’s views on protecting life in the womb a large majority of Americans agree taxpayers should not be paying for abortions.

Abortion, plain and simple, is the taking of an innocent life and is opposed by a large majority of Americans.  H.R. 7 gets the federal government out of directly funding the abortion industry and should be passed immediately.

LifeNews Note: Tom McClusky writes for March for Life.