On Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which was authored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). The proposed legislation would permanently ban taxpayer funding of abortions.
The bill was approved by a vote of 22-12.
The subcommittee heard testimony in support of H.R. 7 from Professor Helen Alvaré who teaches at George Mason University School of Law, and Richard Doerflinger, associate director and secretariat of pro-life activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Susan Wood, associate professor of health policy and of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University, testified against the legislation.
In her testimony, Alvaré said that “neither American lawmakers nor citizens, especially women, understand abortion as a public good meriting funding.”
Secondly, Alvaré observed, “Abortion is not a part of any genuine ‘women’s health’ agenda according to the federal government’s own statements.”
Family Research Council Director for the Center for Human Dignity Arina Grossu responded to the news of the House Judiciary Committee’s vote:
This is a victory for women, their unborn children, and taxpayers who should not be forced by the government to pay for someone else’s abortion.
We applaud the passage of this bi-partisan pro-life legislation to remove abortion funding from Obamacare and apply the long-standing Hyde Amendment across the government. Most Americans, regardless of their view on abortion, oppose government funding for the atrocity of abortion. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act restores government neutrality on abortion by removing government funding for abortion and yet allows private health insurance to cover abortion.
Grossu added that government funding for abortion is likely to increase the number of abortions.
“With the Obamacare rollout, it has become clear that many health plans being subsidized by the government cover elective abortion,” she said in the statement. “Even more incredible is that Obamacare requires an abortion surcharge, which in most cases is not even revealed to consumers shopping for a health care plan.”
Grossu said that a member of the House Judiciary Committee falsely claimed at the hearing last week that the Hyde amendment fully prohibited government funding of abortion:
However, Hyde does not apply to the nation’s capital and the provision stopping abortion funding in D.C. was repealed in 2010. As a result, Americans have paid to abort hundreds of unborn children at a total cost of $185,000 in taxpayer funds. Hyde applies to other funding streams, not the District. Although this abortion funding restriction for the District was restored in 2011, these taxpayer-funded abortions demonstrate how the annual funding restrictions on abortion are tenuous. The passage of H.R. 7 would make this abortion-funding restriction permanent along with other government abortion-funding provisions.
In a press statement, Lila Rose, president of pro-life organization Live Action, praised Rep. Smith for his work in sponsoring the legislation:
We need more lawmakers like Rep. Chris Smith making an effort to protect Americans from unwillingly contributing to the horrifying injustice of abortion. ObamaCare has proven to be an unmitigated disaster in so many ways, but one of the most sickening is this administration’s refusal to definitively protect American taxpayers from funding abortion – on demand, for any reason. Live Action will continue to demand a stronger stand from legislators and advocacy groups everywhere against our government funneling taxpayer dollars into the greatest human rights abuse of our day.