On July 29, 2010, Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), officially filed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (the Act). A joint press statement, along with text of the Act, H.R. 5939, may be found here.
According to Congressman Smith, the policies codified in the Act ensure that the “American taxpayer is not involved in funding the destruction of innocent human life through abortion on demand.”
If the Act becomes law it will protect life because it 1) establishes a government-wide statutory prohibition of taxpayer-funded abortion; 2) reduces the need for separate abortion funding policies; and 3) ensures that no federal program or federal agency is exempt. The Act is drafted so that abortion funding polices will no longer be debated on an “as-needed” basis. Instead the Act establishes as permanent the policies that prevent the destruction of innocent human life. Policies that currently rely on re-approval by Congress, just to name a few, are the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage funded through the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act, and the Helms Amendment, which prohibits funding for abortion as a method of family planning overseas.
Another important provision in the Act is the conscience clause, which codifies the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause contained within the Hyde Amendment. The conscience clause ensures that recipients of federal funding do not discriminate against healthcare providers because they do not provide, fund, or refer for abortion. Healthcare providers protected by the conscience clause include doctors, nurses and hospitals.
“We congratulate Rep. Smith and Lipinski for introducing a commonsense measure that protects the unborn,” states Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. “The fact that there are 155 bipartisan cosponsors is very encouraging. If the Act becomes law it will be a monumental step toward restoring respect for human life in America.”
Original Cosponsors for the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”