- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday passed legislation prohibiting taxpayer dollars from financing abortions or health care plans covering them.

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican, essentially codifies the Hyde Amendment, a rider that prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions that has been approved by Congress every year since 1976.

Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said the bill “protects the conscience of American taxpayers by ensuring that not a single dollar of their hard-earned money goes to fund abortions,”

He said the legislation is a reminder that “defending all of our people — especially the defenseless — must be our top priority if we want to be a good and moral nation.”

“We are a pro-life Congress,” the speaker added.



Codifying the Hyde Amendment became a top priority for the pro-life movement last year after Democrats came out against the provision in their platform for the first time in party history.

An identical version of the bill was passed by the House in 2011.

Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said there is broad public support for ending taxpayer funding of abortion.

“In passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the House of Representatives reflects the will of their electors to permanently end the subsidization of the abortion industry,” Ms. McGuire said in a statement. “Poll after poll continues to find that hardworking Americans don’t want to be complicit with an industry that preys on vulnerable women and children. This is an important and symbolic step of a new Congress dedicated more than ever to protecting life.”

But Willie Parker, board chairman of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said HR7 will disproportionately harm those who cannot afford abortions without government assistance.

“The House of Representatives’ vote today on HR7 was a vote to punish women who seek abortions on the basis of how much money they earn, where they live, and how they are insured,” Mr. Parker said. “HR7 would turn existing cruel and unfair policies that deny women health insurance for abortion into permanent law. While this vote is not surprising, I am disappointed for my patients and their families.”

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