Friday July 30, 2010

“No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” Introduced

By James Tillman

WASHINGTON, DC, July 30, 2010 ( – Today Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Dan Linkinski (D-IL) filed the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion in every federal program and establish as permanent many of the pro-life policies currently relying on regular congressional re-approval.

“The health care bill made it clear that the current way we prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through annual riders is dangerously fragile,” Lipinski said. “To guarantee that taxpayers are never forced to pay for abortions and the innocent unborn are protected, we must make the longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion permanent and government-wide.”

The proposed legislation would make permanent the Hyde amendment, which prohibits the funding of elective abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother, through any program funded by the annual Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Act.

The Hyde amendment is currently attached to the annual appropriations bill as a rider each year, rendering its continued survival uncertain.

The bill would also make permanent the Helms amendment, the Smith FEHBP amendment, and the Dornan amendment, which respectively prohibit the funding of abortion overseas, the funding of elective abortion coverage for federal employees, and the use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia.

In addition to banning abortion funding, the bill would also codify the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause within the Hyde amendment. This ensures that recipients of federal funding do not discriminate against health care providers because they do not provide or facilitate abortions.

“The comprehensive approach eliminates the need for the numerous funding protections and limitations approved every year and ensures that no program or agency is exempt from this important safeguard,” Smith said. “According to every reputable poll, large majorities of Americans want no complicity whatsoever in paying for abortion.”

Pro-life leaders lauded the measure.

“We applaud Congressman Smith and numerous Members on both sides of the aisle for responding to the concerns of the American people by introducing a measure that applies an abortion funding ban across the federal government,” said Tom McClusky, Family Research Council Action Senior Vice President.

“The American people, regardless of their views of abortion’s legality, should not be forced to pay for someone’s abortion. The Smith bill would protect the American taxpayer and restore the traditional ban on government funding of elective abortion.”

“The overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion, and the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ will comprehensively end this practice,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life Action. “Congress can act now and fix this problem once and for all, and we are urging our grassroots activists across the nation to contact their representatives and support this sensible legislation.”

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Rep. Chris Smith to Introduce “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”