Heading into Friday's March for Life, some Republicans are already taking their first steps: bills to put the protection of the unborn front and center. House leadership may have changed, but the GOP is counting on the fact that American opinion has not. Abortion isn't health care, and it's time our laws reflected that.
From Obama's abortion surcharge to the contraception mandate, Americans are more involved than ever in the procedure that so many oppose. Young or old, Republican or moderate, they agree: there's absolutely no reason that taxpayers should be on the hook for a dangerous, deadly, and almost always elective procedure. Now, with hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers en route to Washington, D.C., House and Senate pro-lifers want them to know they're doing what they can to make the bucks stop here.
If they succeed, voters from both parties would cheer. “By a double-digit margin,” Marist's new survey points out, “a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).” That's great news for Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.), who just introduced S.109, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.
“Regardless of Americans' beliefs on the issue of life, one thing remains clear: the federal government does not need to help fund abortions,” Lankford said. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act ensures that Americans who strongly disagree with abortions are not forced to pay for them with their federal tax dollars. We must continue to take steps to move our nation and our culture closer to holding all human lives sacred regardless of a person's size or degree of dependency. This bill brings us closer to that goal... I am proud to join my colleagues to continue to value life at all stages and ensure our nation also protects women and their important healthcare needs. We can and should do both.”
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion would make the Hyde Amendment permanent federal law and apply it across the government to ensure that no matter which political party is in power, taxpayers won't be forking over their hard-earned money for a procedure that takes an innocent human life.
Now that Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen is admitting that abortion is the group's first priority, it's time to stop splitting hairs and cut Congress's ties. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) have a pair of proposals that would do exactly that: the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2019. “In its latest annual report,” Rep. Hartzler points out, “Planned Parenthood boasts performing more than 321,000 abortions while receiving over half a billion dollars a year from the taxpayer. These staggering numbers represent the lives of children who no longer are with us, and Americans are forced to support it.”
And it's not just Planned Parenthood who's benefiting from Congress – it's a lot of abortion groups. New Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and her former House colleague Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) have a solution for that too. Under their companion bills, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, any business that takes innocent unborn life wouldn't be eligible for “family planning” funds. If their measures passed, it would blow a huge hole in the bank account of Wen's organization. Good riddance, Blackburn says. “Hardworking taxpayers do not want to subsidize the business of abortion providers and entities such as Planned Parenthood.”
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Family Research Council.