Congress Defending Life
Special Report - February 16, 2011
Pro-life members of Congress are moving forward with a comprehensive strategy to close loopholes in federal law that have allowed federal taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Three bills have been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives to implement a general ban on federal funding of abortions. They would also eliminate the need to renew specific statutory provisions prohibiting such funding each year, especially in relation to the recently passed healthcare reform law and Title X funding.
On February 11th, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee considered HR 358Protect Life Act, which would remove abortion funding from the recently passed federal healthcare reform law. The bill is sponsored by subcommittee chairman Rep. Joe Pitts (RPA), along with 121 cosponsors, including North Carolina Representatives Renee Ellmers (R2), Virginia Foxx (R5), Walter Jones (R3), Sue Myrick (R9), and Heath Shuler (D11). According to an article in LifeNews.com, Pitts said, “The Protect Life Act, in short, would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to continue the historical practice of prohibiting federal funds from being used on abortion services.” He continued, “The bill would also prevent government entities funded by the Affordable Care Act from discriminating against health care providers and professionals that do not participate in abortion. Further, the bill would allow individuals to purchase a separate abortion plan with private funds, and allow health insurance providers to offer separate plans for abortion coverage, so long as they don’t use federal funds to do so.” A vote on HR 358 is expected in the House in late February or early March before advancing to the Senate.
Another bill, HR 3No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act has been filed in the House to codify a general prohibition on federal funding for abortions. It states in part, “No funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by Federal law, shall be expended for any abortion.” HR 3 is sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (RNJ) and has 205 cosponsors, including North Carolina Representatives Howard Coble (R6), Renee Ellmers (R2), Virginia Foxx (R5), Walter Jones (R3), Patrick McHenry (R10), Mike McIntyre (D7), Sue Myrick (R9), and Heath Shuler (D11).
Finally, HR 217Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act seeks to defund the world’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Rep. Mike Pence (RIN) and 164 cosponsors, including North Carolina Representatives Renee Ellmers (R2), Virginia Foxx (R5), Walter Jones (R3), Patrick McHenry (R10), Mike McIntyre (D7), Sue Myrick (R9), and Heath Shuler (D11), sponsored the legislation to target those federal funds that support the abortion enterprises of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations that destroy human life through abortion. It prohibits the provision of “any assistance under this title [X] to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion.”
Mixed Reviews on Pro-Life Status - January 25, 2011
Social Issues Stop Defense Spending Bill - September 23, 2010
Amendment Would Allow Military Abortions - August 24, 2010
Senate Fails to Prohibit Abortion Funding - December 11, 2009
Healthcare Debate over Abortion - October 26, 2009
Abortion Debate in Healthcare Overhaul - August 10, 2009
Majority of Americans Favor Laws Limiting Abortions - January 12, 2009
U.S. Senate Approves Pro-Life Amendment - March 4, 2008
Fetal Pain Bill Revived in Congress - August 14, 2007
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