Support “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”
For many years Congress has supported the policy that federal tax dollars should not be used for elective abortions. Many provisions must be renewed in law each year as part of the various annual appropriations bills to maintain this policy. The time is overdue to establish this policy in permanent law in a consistent way. To this end, on July 29, Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 5939). As of the date of this alert, the bill already has 167 total sponsors, enjoying strong bipartisan support.
At the end of Title I of the U.S. Code, H.R. 5939 would add a new chapter: “Chapter 4—Prohibiting Taxpayer Funded Abortions and Providing for Conscience Protection.” In addition to the Hyde Amendment that now covers programs funded through the Labor/Health and Human Services appropriations bill, the Act also would make permanent such laws as the Helms Amendment (no funds for abortion as a method of family planning overseas) and the Smith Amendment (no funds for health plans covering elective abortions for federal employees). The Act also codifies the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause that has been part of the Hyde Amendment since 2004.When introducing H.R. 5939, Rep. Smith stated: “This legislation would establish a comprehensive policy prohibiting public funding for elective abortion in all federal programs.” Rep. Lipinski added: “Protecting the sanctity of life, and preserving the individual’s freedom not to be complicit in any way in abortion, is a matter of principle for me and tens of millions of Americans.”
In an August 20 letter to the House of Representatives, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged Representatives to support and co-sponsor H.R. 5939. “While Congress’s policy [on restricting funding for abortion] has been remarkably consistent for decades, implementation of that policy in practice has been piecemeal and sometimes sadly inadequate.” The Cardinal cited the recently passed health care reform law as an example of why H.R. 5939 is needed. That law “contains at least three different policies on federal funding of abortion—none of which is consistent with the Hyde Amendment . . . or with similar longstanding provisions that govern all other health programs.” See: usccb.org/prolife/DiNardo-HR5939.pdf.
For a current list of cosponsors, see H.R. 5939 at: thomas.loc.gov. Representatives who have not yet cosponsored H.R. 5939 should be urged to do so.
ACTION: As applicable, contact your Representative by e-mail, phone, FAX letter or U.S. Mail:
- Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices.
- To send an e-mail message through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center click here. (E-mails will be sent only to those Representatives who have not yet cosponsored H.R. 5939.)
- Additional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: www.house.gov.
MESSAGE: “Please cosponsor H.R. 5939. This bill will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to pay for elective abortions in any federal program.”
WHEN: Please contact your Representative today. Thanks!