WASHINGTON (CNS) — Passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act “will help save lives and will reduce abortions,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said Jan. 28.
The measure, known as H.R. 7, was approved 227 to 188.
Sponsored by Smith and U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act applies the principles of the Hyde amendment to federal health programs, including the Affordable Care Act. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to fund federal subsidies to any part of a benefits package that includes elective abortions.
“Americans have consistently demanded that public funds not pay for abortion,” Smith told House members prior to the vote.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order preserving the Hyde amendment restrictions and applying them to the new health insurance exchanges. But Smith said the effort has failed because “many, perhaps most” plans available on health care exchanges include elective abortion.
In Connecticut and Rhode Island, at least, state officials have confirmed that all insurance plans offered on their respective health care exchanges include abortion coverage.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act also requires that health care providers fully disclose the extent of their abortion coverage, including any abortion surcharges required of premium payers.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, praised the legislation. “The federal government should not use its funding power to support elective abortion, and should not force taxpayers to subsidize this violence,” the cardinal said in a Jan. 28 statement.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is the second piece of pro-life legislation recently passed by the House. Last year, the House passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. Ten states have enacted similar provisions, including two that are being challenged in Georgia and Idaho.
The Senate has not voted on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It also is not expected to pass its own version of H.R. 7. In November, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would invalidate any state laws that prevent access to abortion.
“An ever-growing number of people recognize that abortion isn’t health care — it kills babies and harms women,” Smith said.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103