Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker (R) led 45 of their Republican colleagues in introducing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a measure that would permanently prohibit federal funding for abortion.
On Wednesday, Johnson and Wicker introduced the legislation that would establish a “permanent prohibition on federal funding for abortion, replacing the current restrictions with a single, government-wide standard,” said a press release from Johnson’s office.
“Most Americans do not want their hard-earned tax dollars being used for abortion-on-demand, but our current patchwork of regulations has brought years of uncertainty,” Wicker said in a statement. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would simplify federal rules, ensuring that American tax dollars are never used for the destruction of innocent, unborn life.”
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would simplify federal rules, ensuring that American tax dollars are never used for the destruction of innocent, unborn life.
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) January 25, 2023
A Marist poll published last week found 60 percent of respondents oppose using tax dollars for abortion services domestically, while 78 percent oppose funding abortion services abroad.
The bill, given the “short title” of “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2023,” would not only prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions but also ban federal funds for health benefits coverage that includes abortions.
Individuals, states, and localities, however, would still be allowed to purchase separate abortion coverage, or health benefits coverage for abortions, as long as it is paid for in its entirety by non-federal funds, the legislation provides.
The bill offers exceptions for abortions sought for ending pregnancies that are the result of rape and incest, and for preserving the life of the mother, i.e., “a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.”
A companion bill (H.R.7) was introduced on January 9 in the U.S. House by the co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ).
In May, Johnson and Wicker joined their colleagues in a letter to Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to express their “unwavering support for the Hyde Amendment and all other long-standing pro-life protections.”
For decades, the Hyde Amendment has blocked American taxpayer funds from being used to provide abortions. While the provision had enjoyed bipartisan support, and the support of the majority of Americans, Joe Biden’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023 proposed to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life protections.
Biden’s budget also sought to increase taxpayer funding for the abortion industry within the United States and abroad, “including through massive funding increases for the Title X family planning program,” the letter noted.
The list of Republican senators who support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act can be found here.
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]