U.S. House Legislation Would Halt Abortion Funding

Two bills that were introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives would keep abortion from being funded by taxpayers or under the health care law.

Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would convert several pro-life policies—also known as riders—into law. Under current law, funding for abortion is prohibited through a patchwork of policies that must be approved annually. 

Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., introduced the Protect Life Act, which would resurrect the Stupak amendment and remove abortion funding from the Obama health care law. Both bills would codify conscience protections for health care workers who object to abortion.

"A ban on taxpayer funding of abortions is the will of the people, and it ought to be the will of the land," House Speaker John Boehner said today. "This commonsense legislation reflects the will of the people and deserves the support of the House." 

Tony Perkins, president of FRC Action, praised the legislation. "Americans, regardless of their view on the legal question of abortion, should not be forced to pay for abortions," he said. "We applaud Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor for their support for these bills. We urge quick action to restore abortion funding neutrality and protect the conscience rights of the American people." 

On Jan. 19, the House voted to repeal the health care law, which currently contains abortion language. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has said it "is not going to be repealed."

In taped remarks, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell promised a repeal vote.

"The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn't want to vote on this bill," he said. "But I assure you, we will."

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