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Pro-Life Measures Under Attack

Each year, the United States Congress must approve a series of appropriations bills in order to fund the government and all of the programs that draw federal funds.  This process determines how billions of our taxpayer dollars are spent.  During this process, the rules for how this money can be spent are outlined.

 

For many years, the pro-life majority in Congress has worked hard to make reasonable assurances that our tax dollars are not used for the unconscionable act of abortion.  While the appropriations process cannot be used to change law, it certainly dictates the activities in which the U.S. government makes a financial contribution.  It also speaks volumes about the priorities of Congress, as countless entities and programs are asking for the purse strings of the taxpayers to be opened to them.

 

Unfortunately, the November elections resulted in a new pro-abortion majority in both chambers of Congress.  Therefore, the appropriations process is now being used to expand the abortion agenda, and to fund those who perform abortions.  While it is not entirely clear which pro-life provisions will be targeted, I am providing a brief description of several provisions that the new majority may look to change.

 

         Dickey-Wicker Amendment:  This language has been federal policy since 1996 and prohibits federal funding of research that harms human embryos.

 

         Hyde Amendment:  Approved each year since 1976, this language prohibits federal funding of domestic abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.

 

         Hyde-Weldon Amendment:  This language provides health care entities with conscience protection by allowing them to opt against providing abortions without jeopardizing their eligibility for federal funds.  The Hyde-Weldon provision has been federal policy since 2005.

 

         Title X Funding:  This account, already funded at $283 million annually, is intended to be used for family planning.  Tragically, in reality, it is used almost exclusively for abortion-related services, most often by Planned Parenthood.  This year, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Planned Parenthood are asking for an additional $100 million in Title X funding.  While the Hyde Amendment (if renewed) would prohibit these funds from directly funding abortions, the additional funding would certainly free up other funds to be used for abortions.

 

         Rape Reporting:  Requires groups who receive Title X funding to comply with State laws relating to the reporting of child abuse, molestation, sexual abuse, rape or incest.  This has been federal policy since 1999.

 

         Mexico City Policy:  This provision requires organizations that receive federal funds to verify that they do not use abortion as a method of family planning.  This language was removed President Clinton, but reinstated by President Bush in 2001.

 

         Kemp-Kasten Amendment:  Federal policy since 1985, this language allows the President to discontinue funding for organizations that support or participate in coercive abortion.  On several occasions, this language has been used to eliminate U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) due to its participation in Chinas one-child policy.

 

I have directed our Office of Government Affairs to closely monitor the progress of these provisions, and the appropriations bills in general.  We will vigorously fight any attempt to use your tax dollars and mine for abortions, and I will keep you updated on our progress.

 

 

 

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