LIPINSKI’S LEADERSHIP YIELDS VICTORY IN FIGHT AGAINST TAXPAYER FUNDED ABORTION
November 7, 2009
Having led the successful fight to force a vote later today on an amendment prohibiting taxpayer funding for elective abortion in the health care bill, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) said he looks forward to passage of the amendment as a major victory for the large majority of Americans who believe taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion.
"The opportunity to vote on this amendment is a victory for which I fought hard, and which could not have been achieved without real leadership and determination," Congressman Lipinski said. "For more than 30 years, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal funding of elective abortions. The amendment to the health care bill that will be offered today adds the Hyde restrictions to the bill, keeping in place the status quo that has long governed federal funding of abortion. We cannot permit the health bill to allow public funding of elective abortion or of health plans that would pay to cover elective abortion."
The Hyde Amendment clearly states that no federal funds 'shall be expended for any abortion' and that no federal funds 'shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.' As recently as July 24 of this year, the House passed H.R. 3293 - the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill - containing this language. However, the House health care reform bill, H.R. 3962, does not contain the Hyde Amendment at present and thus would permit federal funding for health plans that provide abortion, in direct contradiction of long-standing federal policy. Furthermore, the bill's public health insurance option, which is established with $2 billion in federal start-up funds, would also be permitted to offer abortion coverage.
"It was not easy for us to get to this point," Congressman Lipinski said. "But by standing firm, I was able to ensure that at the very least there will be an up or down vote on adding Hyde Amendment language to the bill. Given that a large majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, I cannot help but believe that the House will do the right thing and pass the Stupak-Pitts-Kaptur-Ellsworth-Dahlkemper-Lipinski-Smith Amendment."
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