House Takes First Step in Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Defund Planned Parenthood AP

On Tuesday, the House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, a measure that would permanently prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions and make the Hyde Amendment permanent across all federal expenditures.

The bill, H.R. 7, co-sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), was approved, 238 to 183. The legislation would also prohibit federal subsidies in the form of Obamacare tax credits for those ACA health plans that include abortion, and require full transparency of abortion coverage in Obamacare plans so that Americans who object to abortion can make informed decisions about their choice of healthcare plan.

Smith said during debate on the House floor:

[W]e are experiencing a megatrend in America—consistently reflected in polling data—that the American public not only does not support taxpayer funding for abortion but the public increasingly supports actions to protect unborn children and women from the violence of abortion. People are seeing the truth of who abortion destroys as today’s proudly-shared first baby pictures are most often ultrasound imaging photos depicting the amazing miracle of the developing child in the womb.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) also said during the House’s debate, “It was just last week that groups of women marched in the streets of D.C. and other cities across the country, apparently ready to write off this presidency as it’s just begun.”

“But there were millions of pro-life women who were explicitly told they were unwelcome at this event,” Black continued. “So today, the People’s House is giving them – and the more than 60 percent of Americans from all political persuasions who oppose taxpayer funding of abortion – a voice.”

However, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards tweeted the measure is an “attack on abortion access”:

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, observed, “This is a great first step in getting the federal government out of the abortion business.”

“The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act will finally put an end to the direct funding of abortion in all federal departments, agencies, and programs,” he added. “The next step will be to end government payments to the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood.”

Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said that in approving the bill, the House “reflects the will of their electors to permanently end the subsidization of the abortion industry.”

“Poll after poll continues to find that hardworking Americans don’t want to be be complicit with an industry that preys on vulnerable women and children,” McGuire added. “This is an important and symbolic step of a new Congress dedicated more than ever to protecting life.”

“Pro-life women legislators led the debate on the floor today including Reps. Diane Black, Liz Cheney, Virginia Foxx, Vicky Hartzler, Mia Love, Kristi Noem, Martha Robey, and Ann Wagner,” observed Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We are encouraged and thankful for their leadership, which is further evidence of the broad support this policy has among women.”

“House passage of this legislation is the first step towards fulfilling a promise made by President Trump to keep taxpayers out of the abortion business,” she further explained. “He and his administration are working for the American people, not the abortion lobby. We urge the U.S. Senate to follow suit so that this bill can get to President Trump’s desk as soon as possible.”

Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins also urged the Senate to take up the bill and said, “Following an election in which voters chose a pro-life president and a pro-life Congress, our nation is moving toward a new era where all human beings, born and unborn, are protected under the law.”

“Abortion is not healthcare, and should not be funded since we know government funding of abortion increases it,” Perkins continued. “Passage of this bill is a victory not just for taxpayers but women, and their unborn children.”

Marist poll released Monday found that 61 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 40 percent of those who say they are “pro-choice,” and 41 percent of Democrats.


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