Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, January 9th at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing on H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
For over 30 years, a patchwork of policies regulated federal funding for abortion. Amendments have been added to various appropriations bills to prohibit the federal funding of abortions through the programs funded by those appropriations bills. H.R. 7, with the exception of a few narrow categories accepted for many years, provides that the federal government should not make taxpayers pay for abortions or insurance coverage that includes abortion.
H.R. 7 would make permanent the policies previously passed on a case-by-case basis, including:
• The Hyde amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage through any program funded through the annual Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act;
• The Smith FEHBP amendment, which prohibits funding for health plans that include elective abortion coverage for federal employees;
• The Dornan amendment, which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortions in the District of Columbia; and
• Other policies such as the restrictions on elective abortion funding through the Peace Corps and Federal prisons.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) released the statements below on tomorrow’s hearing.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act frees taxpayers from subsidizing the egregious practice of abortion and insurance coverage that includes abortion. The government has overstepped its authority and failed to protect its citizens, chiefly by forcing American taxpayers to fund the killing of other innocent Americans in the womb – with no regard for the majority of taxpayers who do not support federally funding the practice of abortion. Now is the time for Congress to pass one piece of legislation that prohibits federal funding of elective abortions.”
Subcommittee Chairman Franks: “It is said that a government is what it spends. Planned Parenthood alone aborts over a quarter of a million unborn babies every year, all the while it receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal, state or local taxpayer funds.
“This legislation is really about whether the role of America’s government is to continue to fund a practice that takes the lives of over 1 million little Americans every year, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans – even some who consider themselves pro-choice – strongly object to their taxpayer dollars paying for abortion.
“Thomas Jefferson said that, ‘The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the only legitimate object of good government.’ May that be the commitment of all of us today.”
Witnesses for tomorrow’s hearing include:
• Helen Alvare, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law;
• Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and
• Susan Franklin Wood, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University.
All House Judiciary Committee hearings are webcast live at www.judiciary.house.gov. The hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building.