On Abortion, GOP Puts Tax Dollars in Life Savings
Sending in your taxes shouldn't mean signing over your beliefs. But when it comes to issues like abortion, that's exactly what the Obama administration is asking America to do. As pro-lifers, we have fought to give the medical community a way out of procedures they object to. As taxpayers, we deserve that same protection. No one should be forced into partnership with an industry that spills the blood of innocent unborn humans. And if Congressmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) get their way, no one will.
For years, they've been fighting to build a wall between taxpayer dollars and pro-abortion programs. In 2011, their "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" sailed through the House only to die at the Senate's front door. This year, the duo is trying again. With more than 145 co-sponsors, H.R. 7 would ensure that you and I aren't reluctant shareholders in the nation's abortion business -- in ObamaCare, domestic spending, and even foreign aid.
Yesterday, the House debated the bill in a feisty hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee. As always, emotions were close to the surface as the two parties sniped back and forth on the need for such a law. Not surprisingly, Democrats spent most of their time trying to persuade people that the bill would somehow ban abortion. Don't believe it. In fact, the legislation explicitly states that anyone who wants health insurance with abortion coverage or supplemental abortion coverage can purchase it -- just not with federal dollars.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (R-N.Y.), who never misses an opportunity to mislead people on abortion-neutral legislation, insisted that "H.R. 7 is a radical departure from current tax treatment of medical expenses and insurance coverage, and it is neither justifiable nor necessary to prevent federal funding of abortion." No, Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) fired back, "The real radical departure here is the fact that now we will have, for the first time, federal subsidies of health insurance policies [that include abortion] in America."
With ObamaCare barreling down the track, people on both sides of the issue recognize the importance of pulling the plug on taxpayer-involvement. At last check, a whopping 67% of Americans agreed. Unfortunately for them, the health care law has only entangled taxpayers deeper in the web of abortion. From the government's abortion surcharge to the abortion-heavy D.C. plans (which FRC's own Anna Higgins exposed), Americans are more implicated than ever in the procedure that a majority oppose.
Another one of the Left's convenient talking points is that the country doesn't need H.R. 7 because it has the Hyde Amendment (which strips taxpayer-funding of abortion in appropriations bills). But unlike H.R. 7, the Hyde Amendment has to be reauthorized every year to stay in effect. The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would save Congress from that annual fight and create a permanent, government-wide ban on abortion funding -- not just for appropriations bills, but health care bills, overseas aid, and anything else that Congress subsidizes. Susan Woods, the Democrats' witness at Thursday's hearing, also claimed the bill would end private coverage of abortion -- which is ridiculous on its face. This may come as a shock to liberals, but just because the government doesn't fund something doesn't mean it ceases to exist.
Despite what the Left would have you believe, the Smith-Lipinski measure wouldn't outlaw abortion, it would just make the government neutral on the question of taxpayer-funding. That's what Americans want -- and it's what our unborn citizens deserve.
For more on this important conscience preserving bill and what it could mean for the nation, don't miss next Wednesday's policy lecture (featured here in the Washington Examiner) at FRC headquarters (801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.) with one of the legislation's sponsors, Rep. Chris Smith. Click here to register. If the Left wants to know why the GOP is "still talking about abortion," it's simple. Because Americans are still forced to fund it! Learn what you can do to change that on January 15.
RNC Gets Its Marching Orders on Life
This year, the Republican National Committee (RNC) isn't just talking about the importance of the March for life -- it's showing it. For the first time ever, Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the RNC would postpone the start of the party's winter meeting so that more Republicans could attend the March on January 22. In announcing the change, Priebus told the Washington Times, "I saw that there was a real interest among a significant portion of our members to attend and support the rally for life. This is a core principle of our party. It was natural for me to support our members and our principles."
To make the event even more appealing to members, the RNC is chartering a bus to and from the March for the roughly 170 people who want to participate. It's a welcome gesture from an organization that hasn't always put social issues at the top of its priority list. Jeanne Monahan, the President of March for Life and a former director at FRC, was grateful for the RNC's flexibility and said her organization was "pleased that Chairman Reince Priebus recognizes the importance of the life issue and has given it priority in the Committee's calendar." Yesterday, Chairman Priebus joined me on "Washington Watch" to talk about the scheduling decision and the importance of the life issue to the RNC. To hear his interview, click here.
Happy Trails... to You
Last year, the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow what they have described as "open and avowed" homosexual youth into the ranks of Scouting. FRC played a leading role in attempting to deter this change of the BSA's long-term policy preventing active homosexuals from being Scouts. Sadly, at last spring's national BSA convention, a vote was taken that permanently changed the nature of what historically has been a program that celebrates the Judeo-Christian vision of human sexuality. As a result, FRC participated in a meeting of national Christian leaders held in June to begin planning a new, faithfully Christian alternative for boys and young men.
With partners like Eagle Scout John Stemberger, President of the Florida Policy Council and long-time Scout executive Rob Greene, we helped encourage the formation of a new ministry called " Trail Life USA ." Trail Life "is a Christian adventure, character, and leadership program for young men. The K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man's skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers. Living the Trail Life is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible." On January 1, Trail Life formally launched with more than 500 troops in 42 states.
FRC is excited to be supporting a new youth movement that stands unequivocally for biblical teaching on human sexuality, is grounded firmly in Scripture, and offers America's young males the opportunity of gaining the skills, and shaping the character, that build boys into young men and future leaders. With our friends in American Heritage Girls, we look forward to watching how God uses Trail Life in many lives. As both an outdoors and character-forming ministry and as outreach to boys who need healthy male influences, I encourage you to check out Trail Life and see what troops are near you -- and how you might begin one yourself!
** Don't miss FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin at 6:15 a.m. this Sunday on "Fox & Friends" as he discusses former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's memoir.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.