Last Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee cleared the spending bill containing federal funds for Washington D.C. Unlike the measure approved by the House, the Senate bill does not prohibit money from being used to pay for abortions in the District.
The bill Senate Democrats pushed through was approved without the Dornan amendment, an appropriations “rider”. The Dornan Amendment is a funding ban that was put in place to ensure that taxpayer money would not finance abortions in the nation’s capital. It is estimated that the Dornan Amendment saves the lives of one thousand unborn children in D.C. each year.
The ban was first put in place in 1996 and it was lifted in 2009 when the Democrats took control of Congress. It was restored in 2011 following the momentous pro-life victories in the 2010 elections. In the seemingly brief period without the Dornan Amendment, the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance paid for 117 elective abortions at a cost of roughly $62,000.
The fight from pro-abortion activists to keep funding for abortions in the D.C. spending bill has been very strong. Co-chairwomen of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus– Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) — sent a letter last week signed by 59 lawmakers to House and Senate Democratic members urging them not to budge on the spending bill in order to keep abortion funding in the bill .
Though D.C. is just one town and most of us would like to (and should!) focus on stopping our tax dollars from funding abortions in our own states, D.C. is every American’s city and, truly, we should all be concerned about the violation of innocent human life, whatever the geographic location. D.C. is our nation’s Capital. It should be a city that is representative of what we are as a nation– one dedicated to Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness– not one where citizens are taxed in order to kill the most defenseless Americans. For this reason, we must be vigilant in seeing to it that in that the Dornan Amendment and other life saving measures are put in place to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Let our Capital be a shining city, not one that is dimmed by such shame.