Congress Votes to Permanently Ban Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

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by Stefan Farrar  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 24, 2017   

Measure enshrines Hyde Amendment as permanent law

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to permanently ensure zero tax dollars go to the abortion industry, with a vote of 238–183 largely along partisan lines.

Congressman Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, introduced on January 13 the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

The measure would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law instead of having to approve every year as part of budget appropriations bills.

The law would essentially ban any federal monies from going to fund abortion or for health plans that cover abortion. Representative Smith proposed similar laws in 2013 and 2015 which passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

Kristan Hawkins, leader of Students for Life, commented, "This is a great sign that the Trump administration plans to follow through on their promises during the campaign, and we look forward to working together to make abortion unthinkable in this nation."


The Hyde Amendment states:

None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for any abortion. None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, remarked:

The House's timing for this bill at the beginning of President Trump's term shows that life-affirming legislation is getting the priority it deserves after eight years of hitting a brick wall on President Obama's desk. Two million Americans are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment, which is why it not only needs to be made permanent law but also expanded.

During his campaign, Donald Trump was clear about his pro-life stance and seems to be following through on his promises. On his first full day in office, President Trump reinstated the pro-life Mexico City Policy established by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The policy prohibits federal funds from going to international organizations that fund, promote or provide abortions.

Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, commented, "Reinstating the global gag rule returns us to a disgraceful era that dishonored the American values of free speech and inflicted untold suffering on millions of women around the world."

in response to the reinstatement of the policy, Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, remarked:

And I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects taxpayer funding as well and ensures that we're standing up not just for life of the unborn but also for taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president.

During the course of his candidacy, Trump also promised to defund Planned Parenthood. He wrote in a letter to pro-life leaders, "I am committed to defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions and re-allocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women."

Pro-life advocates are encouraged by Trump's ascendancy to the presidency. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, remarked, "This is an historic moment for the pro-life movement." 

During his campaign, Trump released two lists of potential nominees to the Supreme Court, and the potential candidates have received strong support from pro-life leaders.

Regarding Trump's list of candidates, Dannenfelser commented, "This is an exceptionally strong list of jurists with immense respect for our founding documents."

 

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