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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The House Appropriations Committee has approved two pro-life measures: an amendment preventing abortion coverage from being included in multi-state insurance plans set up in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, and warded off an attempt to reintroduce taxpayer funding for abortion in the nation’s capital.

“This committee has had a long history of bipartisan agreement of recognizing that taxpayers should not be asked to pay for elective abortions, nor should the taxpayers be paying for health plans that are administering elective abortions,” Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-MS, stated in his opening remarks.

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During the mark-up of the Financial Services Appropriations bill for 2013, Nunnelee successfully introduced language to prevent the insurance collectives from covering abortion.

That brought multi-state insurance plans into line with longstanding policy on elective abortion. A source on Capitol Hill noted that the multi-state plans are designed to be similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) which, under current policy, are barred from including elective abortions. Yet under the federal health care reform as passed, all but one multi-state plan is permitted to include elective abortion.

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The multi-state plans are to be administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which is funded by the appropriations bill. The Nunnelee amendment was adopted by a vote of 28-20.

In addition, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, unsuccessfully offered an amendment to weaken the D.C. Hyde amendment, under which no taxpayer funds appropriated for the District can be used for elective abortions. The Lee amendment would have specified that the ban applied only to “federal” funds, gutting the existing policy which forbids national or local funds appropriated under the Financial Services bill to be spent on elective abortions.

Financial Services Subcommittee Chair Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO, and Rep. Steve Austria, R-OH, spoke in opposition to the amendment.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has responsibility for governing the nation’s capital city. Lee’s amendment was defeated by a vote of 21-26.

 

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