U.S. Sen. David Vitter joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues in authoring an amendment to the Senate health care bill to extend the more than 30-year federal standard disallowing tax payer funding for abortion. Today, he spoke on the U.S. Senate floor in support of the amendment's passage.
"This amendment will codify a longstanding policy that prohibits the use of federal dollars for abortions," said Vitter. "The Hyde amendment represented a pivotal moment in the pro-life movement by restricting the use of federal funds for abortions, but a series of legislative loopholes has allowed this practice to continue in certain instances. It's time for that to change, and it's time to finally close this loophole."
The amendment, led by Sen. Ben Nelson, (D-NE) extends the Hyde amendment to ensure that no federal funds are used to pay for abortion in the health care reform legislation currently being considered. The amendment would prohibit the use of the affordability tax credits to purchase a health insurance policy that covers abortion along with prohibiting federal funding for abortion under the community health insurance option.
"The federal government should not use taxpayer dollars to pay for acts that so many Americans find to be soundly abhorrent," said Vitter. "This amendment will close this loophole, providing a real and permanent assurance that federal funds cannot be used for abortions."
In 1976, Congress approved the Hyde amendment barring public funds from covering abortion.
Vitter offered a similar amendment in 2008 to the Indian Health Services bill.