HR 5939 Introduced in US House

The latest legislative battle to limit federal funding of abortion took a step forward on July 30th as Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced HR 5939, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”  The bill would unify all existing amendments currently prohibiting abortions into one single federal law.  Congressman Lipinski commented,  “The health care bill made it clear that the current way we prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through annual riders is dangerously fragile.”  The riders (clauses or amendments that “ride” on greater bills) to funding bills must be continually reaffirmed and are thus subject to consideration and debate every year.  This annual review renders these restricting amendments quite unstable and with no guarantee of lasting effect.

The bill states:  “No funds authorized or appropriated by federal law…shall be expended for any abortion,” and “None of the funds…shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.”  The law would also maintain anti-discrimination stipulations, protecting anyone who would refuse to provide, promote, or refer for abortions.  The bill also prohibits abortions from being committed in any health care facility which is owned and operated by the federal government.  This clause is a response to recent attempts by some pro-choice Senators who wish to allow and fund abortion on military bases.

HR 5939 was submitted with 155 co-sponsors joining Smith and Lapinski and is supported by 141 Republicans and 16 Democrats.  Over half of the Congressional delegation from Texas added their names to the measure, and the others will do so when they return from the August recess.

The importance of this bill cannot be overstated, especially since provisions in Obamacare have been exposed to show that abortion could be covered in some federally funded state exchanges.  Explaining the federal policy regarding federal funding of abortions, Nancy-Ann DeParte posted on the White House blog,  “[N]o new ground has been broken” in the restricting of federal funds for state-exchanges which offer abortions.” DeParte added, “The program’s restriction on abortion coverage is not a precedent for other programs or policies given the unique, temporary nature of the program and the population it serves.”

This statement is unclear on the Administration’s policy goals.  DeParte could mean that the Obama Administration plans on continuing the previous ban on all federal funding of abortions.  However, it is more likely that she is confirming that the Administration was only applying a ban on funding for the temporary state exchanges, but that the larger healthcare law (to take effect in 2014) may not include such prohibitions.  Planned Parenthood lamented that if no taxpayer funds would be used for abortions, it was “not the outcome we expected.” DeParte’s statement could signal a future outcome that would appease them.  The Obama Administration is fully committed to expanding abortion on demand and requiring the American taxpayer to fund in full the barbaric practice.  Congressmen Smith and Lipinski’s No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Bill is one way to thwart the deadly abortion agenda.