House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said today that the House will vote next week on legislation that will put in place a complete ban on taxpayer funding of abortions and ensures abortions are not directly funded in any federal governmental program or department.
The legislation combines several policies that must be enacted every year in Congressional battles and puts them into law where they will not be in jeopardy of being overturned every time Congress changes hands from pro-life lawmakers to those who support abortions. The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice approved the bill earlier this month.
“I am also proud to announce that next week, the House will vote once and for all to end taxpayer funding for abortions,” Cantor told the March for Life rally in Washington today.
Congressman Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who is the bill sponsor, talked about the legislation during his March for Life speech:
“To rid Obamacare of its massive expansion of public funding for abortion insurance plans—and to make existing policies like the Hyde Amendment permanent–ask your senators and member of the House to support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act co-sponsored by 165 House Members and a quarter of the Senate,” he said.
The bill has been around a few years but has only been approved in the House thanks to a pro-abortion Senate. On May 4, 2011, the House passed HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, on a 251-175 vote with Republicans voting 235-0 for the bill and Democrats voting 175-16 against it.
The Family Research Council is a strong supporter of the bill and FRC president Tony Perkins applauded Smith’s leadership.
“Chris Smith’s leadership in the cause of life has been historic. Most Americans, regardless of their view on abortion, oppose government funding for abortion. The ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ will make sure that the Hyde Amendment applies across the government, including fixing the abortion funding provisions in Obamacare. H.R. 7 will restore government neutrality on abortion,” he told LifeNews.
“Abortion causes enduring pain to millions of American women, and the revelation that so many of them are so young is tragic. Bringing help and healing to America’s young women and their families has to be coupled with public policies that will curtail this victimization,” Perkins noted.
A majority of Americans object to the use of taxpayer money for funding abortion, according to numerous polls — including a survey CNN conducted in early April showing Americans oppose public funding of abortion by a margin of 61% to 35%.
The bill will also mitigate concerns about abortion funding in the various loopholes in the Obamacare national health care bill that various pro-life organizations warned about during debate on the law. The legislation did not contain language banning funding of abortions in its provisions and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would fix that problem.
The National Right to Life Committee sent a letter to House members urging support for the legislation that explains how the bill will help:
“Regrettably, however, the 111th Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). During consideration of that legislation, language was proposed (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) to apply the principles of the Hyde Amendment to the multitude of programs created by the bill, and the House initially approved that language – but no such provision was part of the enacted law, due to opposition from President Obama and the Senate majority. Consequently, the enacted PPACA contains multiple provisions authorizing funding of abortion and funding of health plans that cover abortion.”
The National Right to Life letter also commented on another lesser-known provision of the tax-funded abortion ban — it’s language to protect health care professionals who don’t want to be involved in abortions.
“The bill would codify the principles of the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which has been appended to the original Hyde Amendment on every Health and Human Services appropriations bill since 2004. This provision would solidify important protections for health care providers who do not wish to participate in providing abortions – which is especially important in light of the Obama Administration’s February 23, 2011 action rescinding the conscience protection regulation issued by the Bush Administration.”
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Also, before the vote in 2011, the White House said President Barack Obama would add to his lengthy pro-abortion record by vetoing the legislation. Obama would veto HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, with the White House saying the president opposes the bill because it would supposedly make it tougher for women to obtain abortion coverage from private insurance companies thereby expanding the current Hyde Amendment, which only limits tax-funded abortions under Medicaid, beyond its current reach.