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House Approves Ban on Federal Funding for Abortion


Location: Washington, DC

The House of Representatives today passed legislation to ban the federal funding of abortion by a vote of 251-175. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) codifies the Hyde Amendment and similar provisions to ensure that American taxpayers are not forced to pay for or subsidize abortion.

A Zogby poll found that 77% of Americans feel that federal funds should never pay for abortions or should pay only to save the life of the mother. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) delivered the following remarks during the floor debate.

Chairman Smith: "Many Members, and the American people, have strong feelings about the subject of abortion. But one thing is clear: federal funding of abortion will lead to more abortions.

"In 2009, there were only 220 government-financed abortions. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the federal government would pay for as many as 675,000 abortions each year without the Hyde Amendment and other provisions that prevent federal funding of abortion.

"H.R. 3 does not ban abortion. It also does not restrict abortions, or abortion coverage in health care plans, as long as those abortions or plans use only private or state funds. And it places no additional legal restrictions on abortions. H.R. 3 simply protects taxpayers from having to fund or subsidize something they morally oppose.

"Congress should pass H.R. 3 to codify the long-standing ban on the federal funding of abortions."

Sponsored by Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and introduced in January 2011, H.R. 3 has 227 cosponsors including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith.

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