Restore Pro-Life Policies to “Minibus” Appropriations Bill
During the week of November 14, the U.S. Senate is expected to consider a “minibus” appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. The Energy/Water appropriations bill (H.R. 2354) will be the vehicle for also considering the Financial Services and State/Foreign Operations bills, both of which include unacceptable provisions on pro-life issues:
- DC Abortion Funding Ban Weakened: First passed in 1989, the Dornan Amendment prohibits all congressionally appropriated public funds, federal and local, from being used for elective abortion in the District of Columbia. The Senate’s Financial Services bill weakens the D.C. abortion funding ban by allowing local public funds to be used for elective abortions.
- Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Abortion Funding Ban Eliminated: For many years, the FEHB program has banned the use of funds to pay for abortion, or for expenses connected with providing benefits or coverage for abortion, except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest. The Senate’s Financial Services bill eliminates this provision entirely, so federal funds will subsidize elective abortions.
- Mexico City Policy Reversal Made Permanent: The Mexico City Policy provided that U.S. population assistance funds are available only to foreign nongovernmental organizations that agree not to perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning. The policy was reversed by President Obama in 2009. The Senate’s State/Foreign Operations bill would codify the president’s reversal as permanent law.
- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Funded: The UNFPA has a long history of supporting China’s coercive one-child policy. Nonetheless, the Senate’s State/Foreign Operations bill provides $40 million for the UNFPA.
By contrast, the corresponding appropriations bills in the House uphold the Dornan Amendment, retain the abortion funding ban in the FEHB program, restore the Mexico City Policy, and deny all funding to the UNFPA. In a November 14 letter to the Senate, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged the Senate to remove the four provisions “that pose a direct threat to innocent human life.” See: nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/minibus-nov-2011.pdf
ACTION: Contact your Senators by e-mail, phone, or FAX letter:
- Send an e-mail through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center HERE
- Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Senators’ local offices.
- Additional contact info can be found on Senators’ web sites at: www.senate.gov.
MESSAGE: “Please vote to restore pro-life policies to the ‘minibus’ appropriations bill, H.R. 2354. Specifically, support the abortion funding bans for the District of Columbia and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program that are in current law; uphold the Mexico City Policy; and deny funding to the UNFPA.”
WHEN: It is anticipated that the Senate will take up the “minibus” appropriations bill during the week of November 14. Please act immediately! Thanks! Updated 11/14/11