This article first appeared online at One News Now on May 5, 2011.
House votes pro-life; Senate in doubt
by Charlie Butts
The House has passed a comprehensive bill banning use of federal tax dollars for abortion — but it’s unlikely to gain approval in the Senate.
The vote for H.R. 3 (251-175) was essentially along party lines, with 235 Republicans voting for the measure (five did not vote) and only 16 Democrats joining them (one did not vote). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) had 227 co-sponsors. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” now goes to the Democratic-led Senate, where it is not expected to pass; in addition, the White House this week threatened to veto it if it made it that far.
Marilyn Musgrave, special projects director of the Susan B. Anthony List, tells OneNewsNow she believes House members voting for the bill were in sync with most voters.
“I believe the House of Representatives sent a clear message back to pro-life people around this country: ‘We, too, care about this issue, and we don’t want your tax dollars going for abortion,'” she suggests. “So it was an encouraging day.”
Musgrave adds that the vote sends a strong message to the Senate as well, where the outcome of the bill is in doubt. But she believes pro-life Americans are faithful in supporting candidates who support life.
“I believe that many of them will decide that if a United States senator doesn’t care about the most vulnerable among us, if the United States senator doesn’t care about using our tax dollars for something we find abhorrent, I think they’re going to send a strong message come the next election cycle.”
Musgrave goes on to say it would be helpful for pro-lifers to contact their senators now and remind them that their vote on H.R. 3 will in fact influence how they vote.
H.R. 3 (a) establishes a government-wide permanent prohibition on funding for elective abortion and insurance coverage that includes elective abortion; (b) would close abortion-funding loopholes created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”); (c) would prohibit tax-preferred status for abortion through health savings accounts and itemized deductions; and (d) would make the Hyde Amendment permanent.