Democrats Vote Against Funding to Combat Zika Virus Because Bill Didn’t Promote Abortion

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 19, 2016   |   10:27AM   |   Washington, DC

A group of U.S. Congressional Democrats voted against life-saving aid for people with the Zika virus on Wednesday simply because the funding bill did not promote abortions.

The Hill reports the bill provides $622 million in funding to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been spreading throughout South America and into North America and across the world. The bill passed the U.S. House on Wednesday but not before a group of Democrats objected, arguing that American tax dollars should be used to fund abortions for women with Zika.

Abortion advocates have been using the Zika virus as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities. The virus has been linked to birth defects in babies. Several South American countries have reported an alarming spike in the number of babies born with microcephaly in the past few months. The brain disorder is not typically fatal, but it can cause health problems throughout the child’s life. In an eugenic-like push, abortion activists argue that South American countries should legalize abortion so that women infected with the virus can abort unborn babies who may have the disorder.

On Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the co-chairs of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, as well as Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) who has close ties to Planned Parenthood, and Barbara Lee (D-N.Y.) voted against the funding bill because it included language from the Hyde Amendment, which blocks tax dollars from funding abortions, according to the report. This language commonly is included in federal funding bills and has been for decades.

Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from

The pro-abortion Democrats issued the following statement against the bill: “By including Hyde language that denies access to abortions for women receiving Medicaid, women in the Peace Corps and military, federal workers and others, it continues discriminatory policies that deny women vital reproductive health care services based on their income, their insurance, and where they work.”

Despite the opposition, the bill passed on Wednesday in a 241-184 vote, according to the Washington Examiner.

“It’s become increasingly important that we, the Congress, act to protect our most vulnerable, particularly infants and women, from the risks of this disease,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky, said of the bill. “Our response must be urgent, direct and strategic.”

House Republicans said the bill includes funding for the Centers for Disease Control to develop a vaccine for the virus and to provide mosquito control, the Examiner reports.

The Senate also is debating a Zika funding bill with similar language that restricts taxpayer funding of abortion, according to The Hill.

Lately, abortion activists have been pushing for complete taxpayer funding of abortion and an end to the Hyde Amendment. In January, Hillary Clinton promised Planned Parenthood that she would end Hyde and force taxpayers to fund abortions if she is elected president, LifeNews reported.