House Democrats Pass $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill That Forces Americans to Fund Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 27, 2021   |   10:17AM   |   Washington, DC

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that forces Americans to fund abortions because Democrats rejected an amendment by pro-life Republicans to apply the Hyde Amendment to the legislation.

Democrats approved the bill on a party-line vote with every single House Republican voting against it and only two Democrats breaking off and joining Republicans to oppose the measure.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where pro-life Republicans will need the help of a Democrat like Joe Manchin, who says he is pro-life, to try to stop it.

Republican lawmakers introduced an amendment Thursday that would apply the Hyde Amendment to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. The amendment to the so-called American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 would have prohibited the gigantic relief bill from using any federal funds for abortions. The bill is more than twice as large as the stimulus plan produced during the Great Recession and almost half the cost of the United States’ annual federal budget.

“Unfortunately, House Democrats did not include Hyde Protections in the $1.9 trillion reconciliation bill,” Republicans Reps. Jackie Walorski, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Virginia Foxx said in a statement. The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funds from going to abortions.

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“We are leading to fix this to reflect Congress’s long bipartisan history of supporting Hyde,” the lawmakers said. “President Joe Biden supported it for years as a Senator. Democrats also joined us in prohibiting taxpayer funded abortions in all the previous COVID-19 relief packages.”

During debate on the bill, leading pro-life Congressman Chris Smith said it should be opposed because it forces Americans to pay for killing babies in abortions.

“In a radical departure from all previous COVID-19 relief laws—the bill before us today mandates taxpayer funding for abortion on demand,” he said. “The Rules Committee refused to allow a vote on the McMorrisRogers-Foxx-Walorski amendment—cosponsored by 206 members—to ensure that taxpayers aren’t forced to subsidize abortion.”

“It’s shocking to learn that the methods of abortion include dismemberment of a child’s fragile body including decapitation and that drugs like RU 486 starve the baby to death,” Smith continued. “Unborn babies killed by abortion at 20 weeks or later experience excruciating suffering and physical pain. And until rendered unconscious or dead by these hideous procedures, the baby feels every cut.”

He said Joe Biden once supported limits on taxpayer-funding of abortions before changing his position last year to appease Democrat leaders in his run for president.

“Biden once wrote to constituents explaining his support for laws against funding for abortion by saying it would “protect both the woman and her unborn child… those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them,” Smith explained. “Most Americans agree—58% according to the most recent Marist poll. Unborn babies need the President of the United States and Members of Congress to be their friend and advocate—not another powerful adversary.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini told the DCNF in a Friday statement that “pro-abortion Democrats are using this bill to push through billions of dollars in subsidies for abortions, not only here in the U.S. but also abroad.”

“These pro-abortion politicians are attempting to use the budget reconciliation process to accomplish this because they would not otherwise have the votes needed to do away with popular pro-life riders that protect Americans from funding the life-ending procedure,” Mancini said.

Though the abortion funding is not immediately apparent, Terence P. Jeffrey, editor in chief of CNS News, said it comes through the $1.9 trillion funding bill’s COBRA health insurance subsidy.

“On page 95, there is a provision that would authorize the government to pay 85% of the cost that laid-off individuals would otherwise incur (through this September) to continue their health insurance plans through COBRA payments …” Jeffrey wrote. “The financial cost of this subsidy would be $7.8 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”

That particular subsidy does not include the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for elective abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs, or any other limits on funding abortions, his report continued.

Democrat leaders, who receive huge campaign donations from the abortion industry, are intent on forcing taxpayers to fund abortions.

According to a Susan B. Anthony List analysis of the bill, it also includes $750 million for global health activities and billions more for community health centers. These funds also do not include any restrictions on taxpayer-funded abortions.

Americans got a clue that the COVID-19 relief bill would force taxpayers to fund abortions earlier this month when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about it.

“Can [Biden] guarantee to Americans who don’t want their tax dollars — pro-life Americans who don’t want their tax dollars funding abortion — can this administration guarantee their tax dollars won’t pay for abortions?” a reporter with the Catholic news network EWTN asked.

Psaki ignored the question, responding: “I think as I’ve just noted, 3/4 of the American public supports the components of the package and wants to see the pandemic get under control, wants to see people get back to work and vaccines… so I think that answers your question.”

Polls consistently show most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions, including many Democrat voters. These include recent polls from Marist and Harvard University/Politico. According to Marist, six in 10 Americans (60 percent) oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, while the Harvard poll found that 58 percent oppose it.

What’s more, research suggests low-income women do not want taxpayer-funded abortions. According to the Harvard/Politico poll, voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of ending the Hyde Amendment (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor). In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion are the ones who oppose it the most.