District of Columbia Abortion Funding
The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the responsibility of appropriating all funds -- both federal and local -- for the District of Columbia. Since 1979, D.C. spending bills have restricted the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, except when the mother's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. However, the local funds were being used to pay for abortion on demand. In 1988 Congress added the Dornan Amendment that prevents all funds appropriated for D.C. from being used to pay for abortion except when the mother's life is endangered. In 1993 Congress did not pass the Dornan Amendment, returning to the pre-1988 policy. The Conference Report for the Fiscal Year 96 D.C. Appropriations Bill restored the Dornan Amendment but the report became stalled in the Senate. Subsequently, the prohibition on the use of both federal and local funds for abortions, except to save the mother's life or in cases of rape or incest, was included in various Continuing Resolutions, including the final C.R. passed April 25, 1996. Efforts to exclude this policy from Fiscal Year 97 appropriations were unsuccessful. As a result, this policy was again a part of FiscalYear 97 law.