Search  |  Login  |  Register

By Jay Sekulow1308957953000

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.

 

 

 

Latest in
Pro Life

Defending Crisis Pregnancy Centers

By Edward White1412112355610

Since 2010, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has been defending the First Amendment rights of two non-profit organizations that operate numerous pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in New York City. We filed a lawsuit challenging a city law (Local Law 17) that imposes burdensome...

read more

ObamaCare Directly Funds Abortion

By Matthew Clark1410913584000

A new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals what we’ve been saying all along: ObamaCare funds abortion. Put more directly: you are paying for abortion with your federal tax dollars in direct violation of federal law. In fact the new report details a myriad of ways that despite...

read more

Big Abortion Tries to Buy an Election

By David French1410202422000

There are few states more pro-life than Tennessee. When you poll my friends and neighbors (I live in Columbia, Tenn., perhaps best-known as the “Mule Capital of the World”), you’ll find that 70 percent of Tennesseans would like to ban abortion in all cases or in all cases except rape, incest, or...

read more

Hold Planned Parenthood Accountable

By Walter M. Weber1409239247000

At the ACLJ, we have been working overtime to get a whistleblower case against Planned Parenthood back on track after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the case dismissed. Helping that effort are two friend-of-the-court briefs filed, urging the Ninth...

read more