No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act Introduced in House, Senate

Statement

By:  Chris Smith
Date: May 15, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Today U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), co-chairs of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), announced the introduction of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

The legislation, which has been introduced as H.R. 7 in the House and S. 946 in the Senate, has the support of 95 cosponsors in the House and 21 in the Senate. Click here to read the text of the bill.

Congressman Smith (NJ-04) said of the bills: "More than 100 Members of Congress have joined us in introducing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act--a government wide prohibition on taxpayer subsidization for abortion. With the recent murder convictions of Dr. Gosnell, we've got to encourage Americans to ask--how different really is Gosnell's House of Horrors from abortions that occur in clinics throughout the country? Not much, not much at all," said Smith. "There are Kermit Gosnells all over America. Some abortionists may have cleaner sheets than Gosnell, and better sterilized equipment and better trained accomplices, but what they do--what Gosnell did is the same--kill babies and hurt women. President Obama has said he wants abortion to be rare. To Mr. Obama I say, "here is a bill for you.' Even the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, confirms that taxpayer funding bans are a proven abortion reduction method. According to Guttmacher, studies show that when abortion is not publically funded, abortions in the covered population are reduced by roughly 25 percent."

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) said: "The overwhelming view of Americans is their tax dollars should not be used to pay for abortions. Yet taxpayer dollars are poised to pay for abortions through the Affordable Care Act and we continue to rely on the dangerous practice of passing annual riders to carry out the desire of the American people that taxpayer-funded abortions should be prohibited," Rep. Lipinski said. "This legislation makes perfect sense by answering to the public's wishes, making longtime federal policy permanent law and protecting innocent life that deserves to be protected."

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) said: "The sanctity of human life for all, including the unborn, is deeply rooted in my beliefs and reflected in American values. For more than 30 years, Congress has enacted annual provisions in appropriations bills to make certain American taxpayers are not funding abortions. It is past time for a single, government-wide prohibition on abortion funding. This legislation accomplishes that goal by establishing a comprehensive policy prohibiting public funding for abortion in all federal programs. This approach will reduce the need for separate abortion funding policies and ensure that no federal program is exempt from this prohibition."

The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" will eliminate the need for numerous, separate, annual abortion funding prohibitions (called riders) and ensure that no other program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard.

The bill would make permanent the policies that currently rely on regular re-approval, including amendments like the well known Hyde Amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage through any program funded through the annual Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act. It also would make permanent other existing laws, such as: the Helms amendment (which prohibits funding for abortion as a method of family planning overseas); the Smith FEHBP amendment (which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage for federal employees); the Dornan amendment, (which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia), and; other policies governing programs, such as federal prisons.