Government funding for abortion and legislative plans to stop it were the topics of a bipartisan press conference today by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), co-chairs of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, and Rep. Joe Pitts, Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce and the Values Action Team.
Specifically, the lawmakers focused on two bills introduced today prohibiting government funding for abortion—the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which will be introduced as H.R. 3, and the “Protect Life Act.”
Congressman Smith (NJ-04) said of the bills: “Today with the full and unequivocal support of Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor, more than 150 Members of Congress have joined us to introduce the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act—a government wide prohibition on taxpayer subsidization for abortion and conscience protections with durable remedies. President Obama has said he wants abortion to be rare.To Mr. Obama I say, ‘here is a bill for you.’ Even the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, confirms 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.”
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) said: “The health care law made it clear that the current way we prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through annual riders is dangerously fragile. We must take action to prevent federal funding for abortion under the health care law and throughout the government, without exception. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to guarantee we abide by a principle supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans: that no federal taxpayer dollars should be used to pay for abortion.”
Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) said: “It is imperative that the federal government stays out of the business of subsidizing the morally objectionable practice of abortion. President Obama, himself, agreed with these goals, and even issued an Executive Order trying to prove his support for prohibiting federal funding for abortion. If he chooses to stand by his word, he should have no problem signing both these bills into law.”
The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” will eliminate the need for numerous, separate, annual abortion funding prohibitions (called riders) and ensure that no other program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard. The bill also codifies the conscience clause known as Hyde-Weldon.
The “Protect Life Act” will amend the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) to ensure there is no funding for abortion or abortion coverage. The law currently does not include a comprehensive prohibition on such funding. Instead the bill contains accounting gimmicks that explicitly allow funding for abortion coverage. The Obama Executive Order reiterates those accounting gimmicks. Without the “Protect Life Act,” PPACA will become the largest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade.