On the same day that hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the annual March for Life and to lament the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the U.S. House passed a bill that prohibits the use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. H.R. 7-No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act was approved by the House on a 227-188 vote on Thursday, January 22.
In short, the measure would codify what is commonly referred to as the “Hyde Amendment,” which prohibits federal dollars from being used to pay for elective abortions. It also would ensure that federal tax dollars are not used to subsidize abortions through federal health insurance coverage.
North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-District 5) presided over the U.S. House during debate and passage of the bill (pictured above on C-SPAN).
H.R. 7 was brought to the House floor on Thursday after plans to consider another pro-life bill, H.R. 36-Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, were derailed the day before.
As NC Family reported on January 21, N.C. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-District 2) was one of two Republican House members to withdraw her name as a co-sponsor of H.R. 36 after expressing concerns about the measure. As written, H.R. 36 would prohibit abortion of an unborn child after 20 weeks of fertilization except when the life of the mother is at risk or when a woman has been the victim of rape or incest, and the rape or incest is reported to appropriate law enforcement or other officials.
According to staff in her Washington, D.C. office, Rep. Ellmers is concerned about the reporting requirement included in H.R. 36 for incidents of rape or incest. While her office indicates that she would vote for the bill, her objections, along with those of some other members, created enough controversy that the House leadership decided to withdraw H.R. 36 from consideration.
It is possible that H.R. 36 may be brought to the House floor at a later time, but until that happens, the precious lives of many unborn children will continue to be lost.