House Democrats approved a massive spending bill Friday that would reverse pro-life actions by President Donald Trump and force Americans to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion chain.
The appropriations bill passed in a 244-189 party-line vote in the Democrat-controlled House.
Within it are multiple measures to undermine pro-life policies and executive actions that protect unborn babies and mothers and prevent tax dollars from being used for abortions.
Among these are President Donald Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, which ensures tax dollars are not being used to promote or provide abortions overseas. It defunded the International Planned Parenthood Federation of about $100 million and a British-based abortion chain of about $73 million.
But if the bill ultimately succeeds, that policy could be greatly undermined.
Prior to the vote, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey pro-life Republican, spoke out for unborn babies and mothers on the House floor.
“Someday, future generations of Americans will look back on us and wonder how and why a society that prided itself on its commitment to human rights precluded virtually all protection to the weakest and most vulnerable: unborn children,” Smith said.
Texas U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess also criticized Democrats for including pro-abortion “poison pills” in the bill.
“We could have had a bipartisan bill to provide for the American people,” Burgess said. “These poison pill provisions virtually guarantee that that will not be the case.”
The Democrats’ legislation goes back on an agreement between Democrats and Republicans, Trump and House and Senate leaders earlier this year not to include poison pill provisions in appropriations bills for 2020 and 2021.
Other “poison pills” that Democrats added to the bill include appropriating $55.5 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which the Trump administration defunded because of its links to forced and coerced abortions and sterilizations in China.
The bill also weakens the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which restricts funds to groups that support or advocate for coerced abortions and/or sterilizations, often as a means of population control.
“It is imperative that pro-life policies such as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Program and the Kemp-Kasten Amendment are protected,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “United States taxpayer money should not become a weapon in the arsenal of pro-abortion groups as they seek to destroy the sovereignty of nations opposed to abortion on demand.”
Tobias said the pro-life policies that Democrat leaders are trying to end also prevent taxpayer funding to groups that pressure other countries to legalize abortion on demand.
“Abortion groups and their allies are willing to trample the laws of sovereign nations and place women and their children in harm’s way— all in an effort to create a global ‘right’ to abortion,” Tobias said.
The legislation is not likely to pass the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, and Trump has promised to veto any legislation that would weaken federal pro-life policy.
But Smith expressed outrage that any lawmaker would support abortions. He describe how abortions involve “dismembering a child with razor-sharp knives, pulverizing an infant with powerful suction devices, or chemically poisoning a baby with any number of toxic ‘medications.’”
He urged his fellow lawmakers to support programs that really help women and children in need by providing maternal and prenatal care, nutrition and basic health care.
“No one is expendable or a throwaway,” Smith said. “Birth is merely an event, albeit an important one, in the life of a child. … vulnerable unborn children and their mothers absolutely deserve respect, protection and an abundance of compassion.”