Thursday, May 5, 2011

U.S. House passes No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

On May 4, 2011, the U.S. House voted 251-175 to pass H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

For many years, federal funding of abortion has been limited by a patchwork of laws – many of which expire annually, because they are incorporated into annual appropriations bills. The best known is the Hyde Amendment, but this law applies only to funds that flow through the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill, and it expires annually. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (“Obamacare”), enacted in 2010, opened new pipelines for federal funding of abortion, which are not governed by the Hyde Amendment or any other statutory restriction.

H.R. 3 would codify the principles of the Hyde Amendment on a permanent, government-wide basis, applicable to both long standing federal health programs and to the new programs created by the PPACA.

To became law, H.R. 3 would need to be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Obama.