Nobody likes losing their allowance. So it's understandable that groups like Planned Parenthood--who have been living quite comfortably on the government's dime--are throwing a fit. Although the abortion business is a lucrative one, organizations like Cecile Richards's have come to enjoy the secondary income from Washington. Too bad, say House Republicans.
Like taxpayers, they're tired of watching Uncle Sam play sugar daddy to the abortion industry when Congress claims it's hard to find government programs it can cut. Even absent the ethical dilemma, America has bigger priorities than providing a nice $363 million cushion for the culture of death.
Unfortunately, that didn't stop the Left from painting the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" as an Armageddon for women's health. As far as overreaction goes, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) may have won the prize for suggesting that this bill was tantamount to murder. "This legislation jeopardizes lives, and in many cases is a death notice to women." Correction: Abortion jeopardizes lives. Rep. Chris Smith's bill simply asks an industry to act like one. Abortion is a business--and businesses should be self-sufficient. Groups like Planned Parenthood want Americans to believe that this legislation somehow restricts abortion. It doesn't; it bans the government's involvement in abortion.
FRC's Cathy Ruse, who was one of three experts testifying at yesterday's hearing, reiterated that a consensus was reached 35 years ago between those who support legal abortion and those who oppose it. A majority of pro-life and "pro-choice" Americans came together in agreement that--whatever their differences on the underlying question of legality--the government should not subsidize abortions. (Watch the video here.) Under the Hyde Amendment, that's been the law of the land. Rep. Smith is ensuring that it stays that way by enacting a permanent ban across the entire government. This morning, Republicans stuck to the life theme and hosted another hearing, this time on Rep. Joe Pitts's "Protect Life Act." His bill seeks to do what President Obama's executive order cannot: strip the health care law of every single abortion cent. It also creates a safe haven for people like doctors or pharmacists who have moral objections to abortion by adding conscience protections to ObamaCare.
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Of course, if Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) gets his way, the government won't be paying for the health care law at all. Yesterday, the new House Majority leader hinted that the next continuing resolution would " preclude any funding...for ObamaCare." (The continuing resolution is what keeps the government running in the absence of a congressional budget.) Back in December, Congress resorted to a CR because Democrats were too busy with their social agenda to bother with their primary constitutional duty. That measure expires in 23 days. When a new version is introduced, we're happy to report that it will look vastly different than the Democrats' measure. Thanks to the hard work of our staff and allies, all of the pro-life and pro-family provisions will remain intact. The new leaders will even restore the old ban on D.C. abortion funding, which their predecessors abolished.