A group of pro-life senators introduced legislation on Wednesday to permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of so-called “elective” abortions. Forty-seven senators sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, which would permanently ban the federal funding of some abortions.
In a press release, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss) said, “Most Americans do not want their hard-earned tax dollars being used for abortion-on-demand, but our current patchwork of regulations has brought years of uncertainty. The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act would simplify federal rules, ensuring that American tax dollars are never used for the destruction of innocent, unborn life.”
The legislation would make current restrictions on the federal funding of abortion, which require annual approval, permanent, including the Hyde Amendment. The bill would also ensure that the taxpayer subsidies for abortion under the Affordable Care Act would end. Current restrictions do allow for abortion to be taxpayer funded in cases of rape or incest or if the mother’s life is at risk (though induced abortion — the intentional killing of the preborn child prior to birth — is not medically necessary). These exceptions will remain should this legislation become law.
The bill states that the ban “shall not apply to an abortion … if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or … in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed…”
The Hyde Amendment is a pro-life rider that has been included in federal budgets since 1976 to prevent federal funds from directly paying for “elective” abortions through programs such as Medicaid. For decades it received bipartisan support, including from President Joe Biden, who changed course to oppose the Hyde Amendment during his 2020 presidential campaign following pushback from pro-abortion groups.
The Hyde Amendment is credited with saving 67,000 lives each year from abortion — more than 2 million lives since 1976. While opponents claim it is racist, the Hyde Amendment has helped hundreds of thousands of Black women give birth to their babies without the extra pressure of having a “free” abortion.
As Christina Bennett, News Correspondent for Live Action, explained in 2020:
[W]omen are coerced into having abortions by their parents, by their partners, by their employers, and by the abortion industry workers, staff, and doctors. And so when you make abortion free [of cost to the client], you’re adding to that encouragement. You’re encouraging abortion when you make it free because, just in general, that’s a sales tactic, making something free. If something is free you’re going to consider it regardless of what it is. If someone says, ‘Do you want this? It’s free.” You’re going to think, ‘Do I want this?’ So, for women who are already vulnerable, already under pressure to abort, it becomes this enticement.
As pro-life senators introduce this bill, pro-abortion House members are reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment and allow federal funding for all abortions.
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