As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a relief bill that should have served to unify America around the shared mission of rebuilding what was lost has turned into a bailout for the abortion industry.
Congress is allowing taxpayer dollars to flow to abortionists through poorly written grants, unrestricted bailouts and billions in foreign aid. The writers of this critical legislation could have prevented these abuses; instead, the bill has become another carveout for the abortion industry.
Passing this radical legislation fits the vision of President Joe Biden, who said of the COVID-19 pandemic, “From this moment of crisis, we have the opportunity to not just rebuild our economy — but transform it.”
Democrats like President Biden see the damage caused by the pandemic as an opportunity to ram through their agenda. As we near the anniversary of massive shutdowns due to COVID-19, President Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are using this ongoing crisis to expand government-sponsored abortion. Instead of unifying America, this bill threatens to tear us apart by deepening the partisan divide.
Shockingly, only 9% of the bill’s funding will go to public health issues, and almost half of the funding, not including the proposed stimulus checks, won’t be distributed until 2022 at the earliest. A serious relief bill has devolved into a liberal wish list that, of course, funds the abortion industry.
Several healthcare-related grants and subsidies in the legislation allow taxpayer dollars to subsidize and directly pay for abortions and healthcare plans covering abortion. These include, but are not limited to, rural healthcare grants, educational grants, funding for the Child Care Stabilization Fund, money allocated to COBRA healthcare plans, testing grants, and massive bailouts for failing state governments.
The $350 billion state bailout funds are particularly problematic as the bill doesn’t prevent states and localities from using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. Under the current guidelines, liberal states like New York and California, which are likely going to receive the lion’s share of the bailout, can funnel millions to abortion giants like Planned Parenthood if they choose.
By adding backdoors for abortionists, this bill reverses the bi-partisan Hyde Amendment, which protects taxpayers from funding of abortion. For decades, both sides have agreed that unwilling Americans shouldn’t have to fund abortion, but these concerns are ignored in this bill.
The Helms Amendment changed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to prohibit foreign-policy expenditures from financing abortion or involuntary sterilization overseas. The proposed relief bill violates this long-held approach to foreign policy and violates the wishes of the American people.
The proposed coronavirus package lacks language that prohibits funding to overseas abortions and involuntary sterilization. Take for example appropriations for so-called “humanitarian” and State Department expenditures starting on page 129 of the rules amendment which are void of any language restricting the funds.
Recent Marist polling, though, shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortion overseas. The survey reveals 77 percent of Americans reject the idea of taxpayer dollars funding abortion abroad while a majority of Democrats—55 percent—also oppose taxpayer funding of abortion abroad.
Taxpayer dollars allocated in the latest relief bill should be used to help American business owners struggling to keep their dreams alive. The relief bill shouldn’t be used to exploit the crisis and double-down on extreme abortion policies that hurt the poor, marginalize women, and end innocent human life.
Sadly, though, pro-abortion politicians in Congress—and even our commander in chief—are using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to fund their left-wing wish list. Americans are suffering and in need of help while relief funds are being held hostage until their harmful left-wing demands are met. This is wrong.
Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) expressed an opinion similar to President Biden’s, specifically saying the pandemic, a tragedy resulting in the deaths of half a million Americans, is a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Our leaders should not exploit tragedy. Americans need financial assistance, but that assistance shouldn’t come at the price of funding abortion both here and abroad. Such tactics are beneath us as a nation and do a disservice to the majority of Americans who disagree.
Tom McClusky is president of March for Life Action.