Calling it a top priority of the Republican agenda, House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday gave a top designation to a bill introduced by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith that would ban the use of any federal funds from being used for abortions.
The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," given the numerical designation H.R. 3 to emphasize its prominence, would make permanent in existing law any language that bans abortion. It also would provide medical workers with "conscientious protections" that allow them to refuse to participate in abortion procedures against their will.
The legislation will "ensure that the taxpayers -- through huge majorities clearly show do not want their money being used to pay for abortions -- no longer are coerced into using taxpayer funding to subsidize the killing of an unborn child and the warping of his or her mother," Smith said in a press conference with Boehner on Capitol Hill
"Our members feel very strongly about the sanctity of human life. We listened to the American people. We made a commitment to the American people under the Pledge to America and we're continuing to fulfill our commitment," Boehner said.
Separately, Reps. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., and Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., are introducing a bill to prohibit any money from the new health care law from going to fund abortions.
Again, this is appealing to the base. Even some that are pro-choice are against federal taxpayer money going to the procedure. So, this would be easily palatable by the majority of Americans. Democrats will, of course, ferverently oppose the bill, but given the current political climate and the winds of change blowing towads reducing the deficits, they’ll have a hard time defending it.
However, with the Democrats in the Senate and Obama in the White House, the chance of this passing is minimal, unless it is included in some sort of compromise down the line. Abortion is one of the main tenents of the Democratic party, and they’ll be hard-pressed to do anything that would upset the pro-choice lobby.