Banning Federal Funding of Abortion (Update)
Banning Federal Funding of Abortion (Update)
Written By David E. Smith   |   02.06.14
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Only 7 Illinois Reps Vote to Ban Federal Abortion Funding

Republican members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation have voted to slap a total ban on federal taxpayer funding of elective abortions.

Seven of Illinois’ eighteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  This pro-life legislation was introduced by U.S. Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and was passed on January 28 by a vote of 227 to 188.  The bill number is H.R. 7

HR 7 seeks to accomplish three important goals: 

  1.  Make the Hyde Amendment and other current abortion funding prohibitions  permanent;

  2.  Ensure that the Affordable Care Act faithfully conforms with the Hyde Amendment as promised by the President;

  3.  Provide full disclosure, transparency and the prominent display of the extent to which any health insurance plan on the exchange funds abortion.

Republicans Peter Roskam (Wheaton), Rodney Davis (Champaign), Randy Hultgren (Geneva), John Shimkus (Harrisburg), Adam Kinzinger (Joliet) and Aaron Schock (Peoria) voted for the bill.  The only Democrat from Illinois to support this bill was U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski from Chicago.

Democrats Robin Kelly (Chicago), Luis Gutierrez (Chicago), Mike Quigley (Chicago), Danny Davis (Chicago), Tammy Duckworth (Schaumburg), Jan Schakowsky (Chicago), Bradley Schneider (Lincolnshire), Bill Foster (Joliet), William Enyart (Belleville) and Cheri Bustos (Moline) voted to support the use of federal taxpayer dollars for abortion.  U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (Chicago), who has supported abortion funding in the past, did not vote.

Before the vote on this bill, the Congressman Smith took to the floor to make some important points, including the following:

Obamacare requires premium payers to be assessed a separate abortion surcharge every month to pay for abortions. We have learned that consumers may never know they are paying the surcharge, despite assurances to the contrary when the ACA was passed.

In 2009, U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) said:

“…if you are receiving Federal assistance to buy insurance, and if that plan has any abortion coverage, the insurance company must bill you separately, and you must pay separately from your own personal funds–perhaps a credit card transaction, your separate personal check, or automatic withdrawal from your bank account–for that abortion coverage. Now, let me say that again. You have to write two checks: one for the basic policy and one for the additional coverage for abortion.” 

However, research published by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) indicates that insurance carriers are not actually billing the surcharge separately at all. In fact, Gretchen Borchelt, director of state reproductive health policy at the National Women’s Law Center, told the Huffington Post that “we used to talk about it as being two checks that the consumer would have to write because of the segregation requirements, but that’s not the way it’s being implemented.”

Finally, Mr. Speaker, because abortion brutally dismembers, decapitates or chemically poisons an unborn child to death, Americans have consistently demanded that public funds not pay for abortion.

A huge majority—well over 60%–according to most polls show that women and men in this country don’t want to be complicit in abortion by subsidizing it.  A December 2009 Quinnipiac poll found 72% opposed to “allowing abortions to be paid for by public funds under a health reform bill.”

Another poll by International Communications Research asked “If the choice were up to you, would you want your own insurance policy to include abortion?”  69% of women said no!

Mr. Speaker, that’s because an ever growing number of people recognize that abortion isn’t health care—it kills babies and harms women.

We live in an age of ultrasound imaging—the ultimate window to the womb and the child who resides there.  We are in the midst of a fetal health care revolution, an explosion of benign interventions designed to diagnose, treat and cure the precious lives of these youngest patients. 

HR 7 will help save lives and will reduce abortions.

The Judiciary Committee Report accompanying HR 7 suggests that the Hyde Amendment has saved over a million children because 1 in 4 women who would have procured an abortion don’t go through with it if public funding isn’t available. 

HR 7 will reduce abortions.  HR 7 will help save lives.

President Barack Obama has already pledged to veto the abortion funding ban should it reach his desk.  It is unlikely to do so, since U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is unlikely to allow the bill to be taken up for debate in that chamber.  

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David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 30 years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes...
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