U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), have introduced the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."
The legislation, which has been introduced as S. 946 in the Senate, and H.R. 7 in the House, has the support of 21 cosponsors in the Senate and 95 in the House. The bill will eliminate the need for numerous, separate, annual abortion funding prohibitions and ensure that no other program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard.
"The sanctity of human life for all, including the unborn, is deeply rooted in my beliefs and reflected in American values," Senator Wicker said. "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."
"More than 100 Members of Congress have joined us to introduce the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act -- a government wide prohibition on taxpayer subsidization for abortion and conscience protections with durable remedies," Representative Smith said. "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."
"The overwhelming view of Americans is their tax dollars should not be used to pay for abortions," Representative Lipinski said. "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. 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."
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); and, the Dornan amendment (which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia).