Senate to Vote on Bill Blocking Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Anti-abortion activists rally on the steps of the Texas Capitol to condemn the use in medical research of tissue samples from aborted fetuses, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

The Senate will vote this week on legislation that would establish a permanent ban on taxpayer funding of abortion.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019 (S. 109). A vote this week on the measure — as hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists descend upon the nation’s capital during the March for Life — would mark the first time the Senate has voted on this legislation.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), and Pat Roberts (R-KS), would establish a permanent ban across the government on federal funding of abortion and would prohibit federal subsidies offered in the form of tax credits for Obamacare health insurance plans that include coverage for abortion. The legislation would also require that all Obamacare plans disclose whether a plan includes elective abortion coverage as well as the abortion surcharge embedded into plans that cover the procedure.

“The Pelosi-led pro-abortion House has made clear they will try to force taxpayers to pay for abortions by repealing the Hyde Amendment,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser as she reacted to news about the anticipated Senate vote on the bill. “By voting on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the pro-life majority in the Senate is showing they’ll be a brick wall when it comes to trying to force taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand.”

A Marist poll released Tuesday revealed that 75 percent of Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion — including 60 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice.”

“Millions of Americans oppose the use of federal dollars to support abortion,” Wicker said in a joint statement, adding:

As thousands gather in our nation’s capital this week to March for Life, it is well-past time Congress passed a comprehensive solution to the patchwork of regulations prohibiting federal funding for abortion services. Our legislation would create a permanent, government-wide prohibition on abortion funding so that not one taxpayer dollar goes toward the destruction of innocent human life.

“Millions of Americans do not want to use their hard-earned money to cover abortion services,” Sen. Roberts said.

“Currently, under Obamacare, many Americans unknowingly pay for abortion services covered under their health care plan,” the Kansas Republican added. “Our bill will permanently prohibit any taxpayer dollar from being used to pay for abortions and protect the rights for consumers to choose an insurance plan that is in line with their beliefs and values.”

Lankford said the legislation “ensures that Americans who strongly disagree with abortions are not forced to pay for them with their federal tax dollars.”

“We must continue to take steps to move our nation and our culture closer to holding all human lives sacred regardless of a person’s size or degree of dependency,” he continued. “This bill brings us closer to that goal. As the Chairman of the Senate Values Action Team, I am proud to join my colleagues to continue to value life at all stages and ensure our nation also protects women and their important healthcare needs.”

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