WASHINGTON, D.C., January 29, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Even before the House of Representatives passed it, President Barack Obama threatened to veto a bill to end taxpayer funding of abortions at the federal level.
The House of Representatives passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, introduced by Congressman Chris Smith, on Tuesday by a vote of 227-188.
“The legislation would intrude on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care” and “increase the financial burden on many Americans,” Obama said in an Official Statement of Administration Policy on Monday.
He added that the bill would “unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today” by restricting federal subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act to subsidize plans that offer abortion.
Such a law is unnecessary, he argued, because the “prohibition” of federal funding for abortion “is maintained in the Affordable Care Act and reinforced through the President's Executive Order 13535.”
But analysts have dismissed ObamaCare's fund segregation as an accounting gimmick and agree that the executive order, which Obama signed in a private ceremony, is entirely inadequate to protect taxpayers from funding abortion-inducing drugs. The former congressman who secured that executive order, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, said he was “perplexed” by the administration's enactment of the law's provisions. “Not only does that HHS mandate violate the executive order, it also violates statutory law,” he said at a Democrats for Life of America panel discussion last year.
Obama also said the bill would restrict “the District of Columbia's use of local funds, which undermines home rule.” However, under the Constitution, Washington, D.C., is administered by Congress.
The bill is unlikely to wind up on his desk, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not scheduled a hearing for this bill, or any pro-life legislation that has cleared the Republican-controlled House. However, Obama vowed to veto H.R. 7 if given the chance.
“The administration strongly opposes legislation that unnecessarily restricts women's reproductive freedoms and consumers' private insurance options,” the president concluded.
President Obama, a staunch abortion advocate, made a similar veto threat when the legislation was introduced in 2011. That's part of the problem, pro-life experts say.
“If President Obama was at all sincere when promising this protection in 2009, he should sign this legislation when it reaches his desk,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
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The nation's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, announced this week that it strongly supports the bill. Ethics and Religious Liberty Coalition President Russell Moore urged Congress to pass a “critically important bill” that will “respect life and to respect the consciences of millions.”
But, with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, the abortion lobby has excoriated Congressmen for introducing the bill. NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said the bill was backed by “extreme members of the GOP” who “focus almost single-mindedly on finding new ways to dictate the private, medical decisions of women and their families.”
“The War On Women cost conservatives in 2012 and it will cost them again in the midterm elections and beyond,” she said.
Polls show a strong majority, perhaps as high as two-thirds of Americans, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
The Official Statement of Administration Policy reads in full:
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 7. The legislation would intrude on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care; increase the financial burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restrict the District of Columbia's use of local funds, which undermines home rule. Longstanding Federal policy prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. This prohibition is maintained in the Affordable Care Act and reinforced through the President's Executive Order 13535. H.R. 7 would go well beyond these safeguards by interfering with consumers' private health care choices. The Administration strongly opposes legislation that unnecessarily restricts women's reproductive freedoms and consumers' private insurance options.
If the President were presented with H.R. 7, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.