The powerful House Judiciary Committee today overwhelmingly approved the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” H.R. 3, which will permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion across all federal programs.
The bipartisan bill has over 210 cosponsors and will reduce the need for numerous separate policies to prevent government funding for abortion.
Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), the author of the bill and co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, was grateful to the committee for its support and quick action.
“I want to thank my good friend, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) for his leadership on the Judiciary Committee and his unwavering defense of the right to life for all human beings,” Smith said. “I also thank Chairman Lamar Smith and my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for their strong support of this important bill which will ensure that taxpayers are not complicit in paying for the taking of innocent human life.”
“Abortion is not health care. And polls show that taxpayers strongly oppose publically funded abortion—67 percent according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll,” Smith said. “Our new bill is designed to permanently end any U.S. government financial support for abortion whether it be direct funding or by tax credits or any other subsidy.”
“President Obama has said he wants abortion to be rare,” Smith said. “Well, Mr. Obama, here is a bill for you. Even the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, says that taxpayer funding bans are a proven abortion reduction method. According to Guttmacher, studies show that when abortion is not publically funded, abortions in the covered population are reduced by roughly 25 percent.”
As reported from the Judiciary Committee, HR 3 will make permanent the policies that currently rely on regular re-approval, including amendments like 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 Corps and Federal prisons.
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 said. “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.”
Not one of the 15 amendments offered by pro-abortion members was accepted by the committee.
“There is nothing whatsoever benign or caring or generous or just or compassionate or nurturing about abortion,” said Smith. “Abortion dismembers children piece-by-piece. Americans do not want to pay for the killing of unborn children and the wounding of their mothers.”