Seeking to Settle Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Once and For All
By Matt Smith
One of the largest pro-life efforts ever in Congress will begin this week. Congressman Chris Smith (R, NJ-04), Chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, will introduce the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” on Thursday, July 29, 2010.
In a letter to his colleagues asking them to become an original co-sponsor of the legislation, Congressman Smith writes:
“For over 30 years, a patchwork of policies has regulated federal funding for abortion. Together these various policies ensure that the American taxpayer is not involved in funding the destruction of innocent human life through abortion on demand.”
The reason this legislation is needed goes beyond the recent health care law. As Congressman Smith states:
“Most of the existing federal policies are limitation amendments attached to annual appropriations bills (sometimes referred to as riders), which have to be reapproved every year. This ‘as needed’ approach usually results in a debate over abortion funding anytime Congress considers health-related legislation.”
This new legislation establishes a consistent government-wide prohibition on abortion funding. Under current law, funding for abortion and abortion coverage is prohibited through a patchwork of policies, most of which must be annually reapproved in Appropriations bills. The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” will reduce the need for numerous separate abortion funding policies and ensure that no program or agency is exempt.
Policies that would be made permanent under Congressman Smith’s legislation include:
- Hyde amendment (related to programs funded through the annual Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations)
- Helms amendment (concerning overseas programs)
- Smith FEHBP amendment (concerning coverage for federal employees)
- Dornan amendment (regarding funding in Washington DC)
- Other policies governing programs such as the Peace Corp and federal prisons.
- Codifies the conscience clause known as Hyde-Weldon.
There is no doubt that when Congressman Smith introduces this legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives the abortion lobby will push the throttle of opposition all the way down.
The Catholic Advocate community needs to be heard on this important effort to protect the sanctity of human life and prevent our tax dollars to be used to further a culture of death.
Matt Smith is Vice President of Catholic Advocate