Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus, recently introduced legislation to prohibit the use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. Smith’s legislation—the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2021 (H.R. 18)—has more than 130 cosponsors, including a record number of congresswomen supporting the bill.
“When federal taxpayer dollars are not available to help effectuate the demise of unborn babies, lives are saved,” said Rep. Smith. “Abortion violence must be replaced with compassion and empathy for women and for defenseless unborn baby girls and boys.”
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), a cosponsor of Smith’s legislation, said: “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act codifies critical federal policy protecting the unborn: the Hyde Amendment. It’s long past time to make Hyde protections permanent, ensuring human rights for our children and listening to the voices of our nation’s citizens,” Hartzler said.
Smith’s No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion bill makes permanent the long-standing Hyde Amendment as well as similar provisions banning federal funding of abortion by ensuring that no federal dollars are used to pay for abortion and health plans that include abortion.
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“Polling consistently shows that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion—nearly 6 in 10 according to a Marist poll released just last week,” said Smith. “Another 8 in 10 Americans think laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the health of her unborn child,” he added. The full Marist Poll can be found here.
“Lives have been saved by the Hyde Amendment,” said Smith, defender of the Hyde Amendment for over four decades. “Over two million people who would have been aborted instead survived and their mothers benefited from prenatal health care and support,” Smith continued.
“This bill represents exactly what the American people support: Not a dime of their tax dollars going to fund abortions,” Hartzler continued. “I commend Rep. Chris Smith for introducing this legislation and am proud to stand alongside him in our fight for life.”
According to Smith, more than twenty peer-reviewed studies show the Hyde Amendment has saved more than two million lives since 1976—with about 60,000 children spared death by abortion every year.
Smith also explained each provision of the bill, which would:
· Permanently prevent the federal government from funding abortions
· Make the Hyde Amendment permanent, banning federal funding of abortions through programs like Medicaid.
· Codify the Smith Amendment, which prohibits federal employee health care plans from funding abortion, and
· Prohibit federal funding of abortion in several other federal programs throughout government agencies.
· Ensure that the Affordable Care Act conforms with the Hyde Amendment.
· Until a new health insurance plan year begins, ensure full disclosure, transparency and the prominent display of the extent to which any health insurance plan on the exchange funds abortion.
H.R. 18 is identical to bills that passed the House of Representatives in 2014 and 2015 but faced veto threats from then-President Barack Obama. It is also identical to a bill that passed the House in 2017 but was not taken up by the Senate.