Blog Post

"No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" Introduced July 29

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist If passed, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” recently introduced by pro-life Congressmen in the U.S. House, will institute a permanent, government-wide statutory ban on all taxpayer-funded abortion. According to Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), if the Act (HR 5939) becomes law, it will establish a government-wide statutory prohibition of taxpayer-funded abortion, reduce the need for separate abortion funding policies, and ensure that no federal program or federal agency is exempt. “The health care bill made it clear that the current way we prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through annual riders is dangerously fragile,” Rep. Lipinski said. “To guarantee that taxpayers are never forced to pay for abortions and the innocent unborn are protected, we must make the longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion permanent and government-wide. Protecting the sanctity of life, and preserving the individual’s freedom not to be complicit in any way in abortion, is a matter of principle for me and tens of millions of Americans.” The Act, which already has 155 bipartisan co-sponsors, is drafted in such a way that abortion funding polices will no longer be debated on an “as-needed” basis. Instead it establish as permanent the policies already in place that prevent the destruction of innocent human life. These policies include the well known Hyde Amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage through any program funded through the annual Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act. It also would make permanent other existing laws, such as: the Helms amendment, which prohibits funding for abortion as a method of family planning overseas; the Smith FEHBP amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage for federal employees; the Dornan amendment, which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia, and; other policies such as the restrictions on elective abortion funding through Peace Corp and Federal prisons. “The comprehensive approach eliminates the need for the numerous funding protections and limitations approved every year and ensures that no program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard,” Rep. Smith said. “According to every reputable poll, large majorities of Americans want no complicity whatsoever in paying for abortion.” The bill also codifies the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause that is part of the Hyde amendment. The conscience clause ensures that recipients of federal funding do not discriminate against health care providers, including doctors, nurses and hospitals, because the providers do not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions. “The conscience clause is a critical part of the law which protects health care providers who do not want to take part in the abortion business.” Smith added. “Without it, people could be forced to participate in something they strongly believe to be morally wrong. Without it, faith-based hospitals could lose funding.” Pro-life groups across the country are applauding the new bill and calling it a giant leap forward for the pro-life movement in America. “Our research into abortion abuses both at home and abroad provides compelling evidence of the need for such legislation," says Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute. "The American people oppose funding abortion with their tax dollars, yet pro-abortion leaders in Washington routinely ignore their moral and ethical concerns. It is high time that this tyranny of the minority, as it might be called, be stopped.” Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life Action, said that the Smith-Lipinski bill will "comprehensively end" taxpayer-funded abortion. "Congress can act now and fix this problem once and for all, and we are urging our grassroots activists across the nation to contact their representatives and support this sensible legislation," she said. Family Research Council senior vice president Tom McClusky says this bill will put a stop to President Obama and congressional leaders who repeatedly attempt to "eviscerate" agreed upon limits on federal funding of abortion. "We applaud Congressman Smith and numerous Members on both sides of the aisle for responding to the concerns of the American people by introducing a measure that applies an abortion funding ban across the federal government," McClusky commented. "The American people, regardless of their views of abortion's legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion." He added:  "We  . . . urge all Americans to support this commonsense effort to restore government funding neutrality on abortion," he continued. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®