Ethics & Religion
January 17, 2019
Abortion: Funded by Taxpayers?
By Mike McManus
Should abortions be funded by taxpayers?
On Friday tens of thousands of opponents of abortion will participate in
the March for Life in Washington demanding that protection of the unborn
be front and center. "House leadership may have changed, but the GOP is
counting on the fact that American opinion has not," Tony Perkins,
President of the Family Research Council, will say. "Abortion isn't
health care, and it is time our laws reflected that."
If the marchers are successful, voters from both parties will cheer. "By
a double-digit margin, a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer
funding of abortion" (54% to 39%), says Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).
That's great news for Senators Lankford, Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Pat
Roberts (R-KS) who just introduced S. 109, the "No Taxpayer Funding for
"Regardless of American's beliefs on the issue of life, one thing
remains clear: the Federal Government does not need to help fund
abortions," Lankford said. "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act"
ensures that Americans who strongly disagree with abortions are not
forced to pay for them with their federal tax dollars.
"We must continue to take steps to move our nation and our culture
closer to holding all human beings sacred regardless of a person's size
or degree of dependency. This bill brings us closer to that goal,"
However, in the 2018 election, Democrats seized control of the House.
They don't think abortion should be rare. They argue it should be free!
That's the new House majority's cry on the 46th anniversary of the
deadliest U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in history, the Roe v. Wade
decision of the court legalizing abortion.
At a press conference announcing the "Each Woman Act" the House
Pro-Choice Caucus declared a vow to repeal the ban-on-federal-funding of
abortions in the Hyde Amendment, passed by Congress for more than three
However, the Democrats' demand for abortion-on-demand is in conflict
with the opinions of most Americans. The annual Marist Poll reported
that voters believe in regulating and reducing abortion - not
Regardless of whether they're "pro-choice" or "pro-life," Carl Anderson
of the Knights of Columbus, explains, "The majority of Americans in both
parties - support legal restrictions on abortion. Two-thirds of American
want Roe revisited to allow for state regulation of abortion or to ban
Obviously, that conflicts with House Democrats who demand that taxpayers
bankroll abortion-on-demand. "We cannot dictate from the halls of
Congress what the best treatment is for any woman," argues Rep. Nita
Lowey (D-NY). "That should be left to women."
The Senate-sponsored "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" clearly
conflicts with the House-sponsored "Each Woman Act." Neither will win a
majority in the other house.
In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood boasts about performing
321,000 abortions, while receiving a half billion dollars a year from
the Federal Government.
Technically, the federal funding does not pay for abortions. That is
blocked each year by the Hyde Amendment. The money Is supposed to be
used to pay for non-abortion services such as having an ultrasound to
check on a woman's pregnancy, cancer screening, contraception, testing
and treatment. Clearly, however, this funding enables Planned Parenthood
to charge less for abortions.
A woman coming to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic may take
advantage of such services, but she is primarily interested in receiving
the abortion - which is not federally subsidized, due to the Hyde
Amendment. She must pay for it herself, or have her insurance company do
However, the half billion of federal funding clearly subsidizes abortion
providers. "Hardworking taxpayers do not want to subsidize the business
of abortion providers and entities such as Planned Parenthood," asserts
newly elected Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
She and her former House colleague Virginia Foxx (R-NC) have introduced
a bill, the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act" which states
that any business that takes innocent unborn life wouldn't be eligible
for "federal family planning" funds.
The fact their bill is sponsored by a Congresswoman and a U.S. Senator
holds out a slim hope for future passage by both houses. The commitment
of the Democratic House and the Republican Senate to opposite positions
on the issue appears to doom its future.
However, I urge readers to write their Member of Congress and U.S.
Senators encouraging them to vote for a bill to reduce America's
Is that possible? There were 1.4 million abortions in 1990 but only
926,000 in 2014, the latest year with data.
Progress is possible.
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to
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