A new bill from U.S. Senate Republicans would protect Americans’ tax dollars and unborn babies’ lives by prohibiting government spending on abortions overseas.
Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, the American Values Act would close up loopholes in already existing bans on taxpayer funding for abortions and make a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions in the Peace Corps permanent, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“Tax dollars should never be used to perform or promote abortion services in the U.S. or abroad,” Risch said in a statement. “Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups tirelessly work to exploit loopholes and overturn long-standing pro-life provisions of law.”
For decades, the Helms Amendment has protected U.S. tax dollars from being used to fund the killing of unborn babies in abortions through foreign aid. The measure used to have strong bipartisan support in Congress, and polls show it still has strong public support. A new Marist poll found 60 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S., and 78 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
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However, President Joe Biden and other Democrat leaders recently switched positions on the issue and now want to force taxpayers to fund abortions.
Risch’s bill would add protections to ensure that does not happen.
“There is nothing more valuable than human life,” he said, speaking of the American Values Act and other pro-life legislation introduced in recent weeks to protect unborn babies and mothers.
Here’s more from CNA:
The bill, known as the American Values Act, would bolster existing prohibitions on foreign aid for abortions. It would specifically ban aid for abortion as a method of family planning and would prohibit aid money from being used to encourage or coerce abortions or for involuntary sterilization. The bill would also make permanent a ban on the use of funds for the Peace Corps to pay for abortions.
The bill would also establish a long-standing restriction on funds to lobby for or against abortion, funds for any organization that supports or participates in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization, and funds to the Peace Corps to pay for abortions.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a co-sponsor, said the bill will make sure pro-abortion groups cannot exploit Americans’ tax dollars to fund their deadly agenda.
“American taxpayers should never be exploited to fund abortions abroad,” Cruz said in a statement. “I’m proud to join Ranking Member Risch and my Senate colleagues in introducing this bill to clarify and prevent any further capitalization upon unintentional loopholes by pro-abortion groups.”
Whether the legislation will garner enough support to pass is uncertain. Democrats control the U.S. Senate, and Republicans control the U.S. House. The issue of abortion has become increasingly partisan, and there are very few pro-life Democrats and pro-abortion Republicans left in Congress.
The Helms Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions overseas, and the Hyde Amendment does the same with funding in the U.S. for Medicaid and other programs.
In January, U.S. House Democrats introduced a bill to end the life-saving amendments and force taxpayers to fund abortions.
Research by Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar Dr. Michael New estimates the Hyde Amendment has saved about 2.5 million babies from abortions. 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.