In a huge victory for pro-life Americans, the Senate voted for a budget amendment to its multi-trillion spending bill that bans taxpayer-funding of abortions for any federal funds authorized under the bill.
Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced a resolution amendment that protects against taxpayer funding of abortion. His amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for funding of abortions and abortion-related discrimination was successfully adopted by a vote of 50-49 to the Democrats’ partisan budget resolution.
The amendment, if ultimately adopted by Congress in the final budget resolution, would ensure that the budget will comply with the long-standing Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortion, and the Weldon amendment, which protects health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion from discrimination.
While the Lankford Amendment is non-binding, the vote shows majority support for the Hyde amendment as the reconciliation package advances. The House of Representatives must agree to the budget resolution before the legislation can move forward.
During the debate on the bill, Lankford said “We should all be able to agree—no American should be forced to pay for an abortion through taxpayer dollars. Just because a child is inside the womb does not mean they should be treated any differently by law. My amendment restates the long-term agreement that no taxpayer dollars fund an abortion, and no American should be punished for refusing to participate in an abortion. That should not be controversial.”
The senator pointed to a 2020 Marist poll found that 60 percent of Americans, including 37 percent of people who identify as pro-choice, oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion. Earlier this year, Lankford introduced a similar amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Reconciliation bill to ensure health-related funding was compliant with the Hyde amendment. The amendment failed and Lankford voted against the reconciliation bill in part because it would fund abortion for the first time since 1976.
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Lankford’s amendment is supported by March for Life Action, National Right to Life, Family Research Council, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Susan B. Anthony List, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America LAC, Family Policy Alliance and Students for Life Action.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Burke applauded the Senate for adopting the pro-life amendment.
“Every innocent life deserves to be protected. Ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not pay for abortions has saved lives, and it is a policy that continues to receive support from a majority of Americans,” she told LifeNews.com.
“American taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund abortions or to subsidize the dangerous work of abortionists. In the wake of the House of Representatives’ recent rejection of the Hyde and Weldon amendments, we are especially pleased to see the Senate vote in favor of bipartisan policies that support women and protect human life. We commend Sens. Lankford, Daines, and Blunt for taking a stand for life by introducing this important amendment and for the senators who joined them by voting in favor of it,” Burke added.
HOW YOUR SENATORS VOTED:
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Van Hollen (D-MD)