U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey criticized Democrats on Thursday for trying to force taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions through a massive spending bill.
Democrats’ $2 trillion “Build Back Better” bill, which passed the U.S. House on Friday, does not include any of the long-standing bans on taxpayer-funded abortions. If it passes the U.S. Senate, Americans could be forced to pay for the killing of unborn babies in elective abortions both in the United States and in other countries.
Smith, a leading pro-life voice in Congress, said it’s shocking that Democrats removed the Hyde Amendment and other measures that protect American taxpayers and unborn babies.
“It is time, I believe, for more of us to face the harsh reality of what abortion does to children and look beyond the sound bites and slogans,” Smith said. “No one in the media ever bothers to expose the violent methods of abortion that include dismemberment of a child’s fragile body, including decapitation, and that drugs like RU-486 starve the baby to death.”
He urged lawmakers to restore the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs, as well as the Helms Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions in other countries.
“Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize or facilitate the killing of an unborn child,” Smith said, pointing to recent polls showing strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions.
The massive spending bill mandates abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and includes a number of other funding measures that could pay for abortions, Smith continued.
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- $30 billion for states to create reinsurance programs for health insurance issuers
- $10 billion in public health funding grants
- premium tax credits through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that allow taxpayer funding to subsidize plans that provide elective abortions
- a permanent health coverage tax credit that allows tax dollars to fund plans that cover elective abortions.
Smith slammed the bill for other egregious provisions as well, including banning faith-based schools from participating in the expanded child care program and permitting tax dollars to go to entities involved in the genocide against the Uyghurs in China.
The National Right to Life Committee, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Susan B. Anthony List and other leading pro-life organizations also have been urging lawmakers to vote against the bill.
On Thursday, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the bill for forcing taxpayers to fund abortions in a record-long speech that delayed a vote.
“This Socialist Spending Scam abandons the longstanding, bipartisan Hyde Amendment, allowing for taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand and violating the rights of conscience of millions of Americans,” McCarthy said. “That alone is reason enough to defeat the bill.”
However, Democrats control the House, and the bill only required a simple majority to pass. The House passed the bill Friday morning in a 220-213 vote.
Its fate in the U.S. Senate is less certain. The Senate is evenly divided along party lines, and one Democrat, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, has said he will not support any bill that forces taxpayers to pay for abortions. However, the reconciliation bill only needs 50 votes to pass.
During a press conference Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the $2 trillion bill will force taxpayers to fund abortions. When a reporter asked Pelosi if the Hyde Amendment is in the spending bill, she replied: “It’s not in the bill. It’s not in the bill.”
For decades, most Republican and Democrat lawmakers supported the Hyde Amendment as a regular part of the budget. However, Democrats recently abandoned the public on the issue and sided with the billion-dollar abortion industry in calling for forced taxpayer-funded abortions.
Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies’ lives, including about 60,000 each year, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Prior to the amendment, in the 1970s, Americans paid for about 300,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths each year, according to a report from the Family Research Council.
Polls consistently show strong public support for the Hyde Amendment. In January, a Marist poll found 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S. Additionally, 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries. A Harvard/Politico poll also found strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, especially among low-income Americans.