House approves bill that would permanently restrict abortion funding
May 4th, 2011
06:11 PM ET
7 years ago

House approves bill that would permanently restrict abortion funding

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to pass a bill permanently prohibiting federal funding of abortion, addressing one of their chief social objectives.

"Forcing taxpayers to pay for the indiscriminate killing of helpless little baby Americans is not good government and it should be ended once and for all," said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona.

The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" passed 251 to 175. Sixteen Democrats voted with Republicans to pass the measure. The Senate is not expected to take up the legislation, making the vote largely symbolic.

Congress already prohibits the federal funding of abortions in the Hyde Amendment, an annual ban Congress has passed each year since 1976. Supporters say the bill would simply make that prohibition permanent.

But opponents charge the bill would go much further. The federal government would no longer subsidize any health care plans which covered abortion, a move some Democrats say would force small businesses to change health care providers or lose their tax credits. Women who paid out-of-pocket for an abortion would not be able to write off the medical expense on their taxes.

Exceptions would still apply in the case of rape or incest and if the mother's life is in danger - though only if that danger were caused by the pregnancy. The bill also outlines a so-called "conscience clause" which would allow hospitals or physicians to refuse to perform an abortion on moral grounds.

The restrictions in this bill would also apply to abortions performed in the District of Columbia, even if they were covered by city funds.

Republicans underlined polls showing a majority of Americans do not support federally-funded abortions, and said the bill merely codifies the provisions of the so-called Hyde Amendment and makes them permanent.

"[This bill] is pro-life, pro-family and it is pro-taxpayer," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. "It's a responsible step to ensuring a long-standing precedent Republicans and Democrats have supported for decades."

Democrats said the bill would severely restrict women's reproductive freedoms, arguing the measure would effectively raise taxes on women who choose to pay for abortions with private funds, and eliminate tax breaks for some small businesses which provide their employees with health care.

"This bill is going nowhere in the Senate," said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Michigan. "Where it can go is everywhere in interfering with a person's access to health care or with the use of their own money for their own purposes as they choose."

Filed under: Abortion • Congress • House Republicans
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. anotherGDlefty

    Good job Teatards.
    Another symbolic bill that takes away time & effort from the huge effort you are making on jobs...

    You have successfully passed a useless bill that is already in place AND in use.....It's called the Hyde Amendment.

    When will you "symbolic" righties ever become acquainted with these things called "facts" about where federal funding goes?

    May 4, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Shari from Madison WI

    Another stake into women's lives. Repugnant Republicans will not be happy until woman have no say in any health decision. To be honest I don't know how any woman can be a republican. Soon women will have no rights unless they bend over and kiss the Republican butts. I don't like abortion but where does this stop? How soon will it be befor the only people who have any say in this country about anything have to Republican's? I am a democrat and I feel that, as a woman, I am being denigrated by the Repubs.

    May 4, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. D-NICE

    Yet another bill that's going nowhere. Great job republicans.

    May 4, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. seriously???

    It's all about jobs, isn't it house Republicans?

    May 4, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. tony

    Let's see now: It's OK with Liberals to kill unborn humans but Heaven Forbid someone shoots a sea otter, polar bear, wolf, etc. Am I missing something here?

    May 4, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. me

    I will NEVER vote for any republican again. Local or Federal.


    An American Woman

    May 4, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. annieL

    I deeply dispprove on moral and spiritual grounds of fertility treatments that artificially create mutliple embryos that are then destroyed in the process of selecting one to implant and carry to term. I DEMAND that NOT ONE CENT of MY tax dollars be spent on this barbaric manipulation of fertilzed eggs that are, in fact, the beginning of human life. And I demand that NO PRIVATE INSURANCE be used and allowed as a tax deduction for such fertility treatments.

    May 4, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Pat

    Boy, this will really go far in solving the budget deficit. Way to go GOP!!

    May 4, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Peet

    OK ... now how about some jobs' legislation you ideologues?!

    May 4, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Debbie

    The vote is symbolic but it will be a reality come re-election time for Representatives in 2012.

    May 4, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Larry

    How many "laws" do about federal funding of abortion do we need? More time and money wasted in the US House.

    May 4, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. T

    Oh come on this is just smoke SCREEN the Federal Gov, does not pay for abortion. Who do they think they are fooliing. Like they are working. AMERICA keep your eyes open because if you found a fool bump them on their head. Who is fooling who?
    GOP is a sea of FOOLS

    May 4, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. sean

    Considering no federal funds go to abortion now, what is the point of this again?

    May 4, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. mama panda

    We have lots of helpless little baby Americans in this country. Some of them do just fine.

    Others go hungry. Some are abandoned. Some are neglected. And some are beaten to death by their own parents. I wish Rep. Franks (and his ilk) would pass protective and preventive laws on behalf of these helpless little baby Americans before passing a law that helps guarantee there will be more of them.

    May 4, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. ingrid as a reminder...the Republicans were elected to bring in the jobs. Hmm. So far I have not heard of one piece of legislation put forth by them to do that. Instead, I am seeing is that the Republicans are only looking at social issues. Hmm. Seems to me that perhaps they are using social issues to distract from their inability to fulfill their promises.

    May 4, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    ["Forcing taxpayers to pay for the indiscriminate killing of helpless little baby Americans is not good government and it should be ended once and for all]

    When did the government ever pay for abortions?????????????????????????????? I have NEVER in all of my born days witnessed and/or heard about the government paying for abortions!!

    Does the Republicans know something I don't know??? Well, maybe they do – I mean – most of the abortion clinics are NOT in the poor neighborhoods!!!

    May 4, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. JP0

    Every anti-abortion bill needs to include funding for caring for all of the unwanted babies. Personally I think the government needs to spend less effort in regulating the bedroom and more regulating the boardroom. Not that any Republican would agree with me.

    May 4, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. Clwyd

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, The republicans have produced not one piece of legislation, but are now going after life styles and "Choice."
    I find all republican politicians to be just animals! Maybe even a lower form of life like, "single cell bacteria!"

    May 4, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    What a waste of time and energy when there are more pressing problems. A symbolic political gesture that only further inflames the heated political debate.

    May 4, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    So, does this mean that there will soon be a vote in the House denying any Federal funds going to an elective war to even the score, 'cuz "that bad man wanted to hurt my daddy"?

    But wait, the GOP only cares about zygotes, after that first breath of air, those "christians" are no longer "pro-life".

    Worry about 'em in the womb, keep 'em ignorant and hungry, use 'em as cannon fodder in an elective war, and wrap the coffins in the American flag is the true GOP agenda.

    May 4, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. fayse

    This is a complete waste of time. It is already against the Federal Law to fund abortions. This is yet another diversion by the GOP.

    May 4, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. jersvette

    Republicans continue their assault on women in support of their conservative social agenda (Big Suprise!!!). I am sure they continue to line up the samevotes from those they have already secured. If this is their choice of focus then the country just needs to be reminded (actually they probably don't need the reminder) that jobs are still desperately needed in our ailing economy and the republicans are focused on everything else.

    May 4, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. Nothing new here

    This is a waste of time, and taxpayers money, on nothing more than some "symbolic" act. An act that can easily be undone when Democrats retake the House. Or by the Senate not voting in favor of this legislation.
    I wish these Republicans would get a life, and stay out of everyone else's. Matter of fact – WHERE are the jobs they keep promising??

    May 4, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. Nick P.

    there's those jobs the GOP said the election of 2010 was all about! see what happens, say one thing to get in, do something totally different when in, they rode in on promise of jobs and economy, since january it has been nothing but right wing social agenda, i hope those so called independent voters are awake and watching!

    May 4, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Shukura

    I am a democrat, pro-choice and pro-Obama. I agree with the republicans on this one. I don't care if you exercise your choice but it needs to come out of your pocket. If you have healthcare insurance that covers it, fine. But don't use my tax money for your failures. Took me many years to come to this way of thinking, but it is the best compromise to keeping 'choice' as an option.

    May 4, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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