U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined several colleagues to introduce the Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act to halt the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services.
“Sixty percent of Americans oppose their tax dollars being used to fund abortions,” Blackburn said in a press release. “We should honor their wishes by ending the use of public funds. The pro-life community should not be forced to directly or indirectly fund this abhorrent practice.”
Co-sponsors are U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS).
The House version is H.R. 833, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04).
The Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act is supported by the Susan B. Anthony List.
In January, Blackburn introduced her first bill in the Senate, The Tennessee Star reported. That bill – S. 105, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act – would strips all abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, of federal funding under Title X of the Public Health Service Act.
Of the Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act, Cramer said, “Abortion providers do not deserve taxpayer subsidies. While current law prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, companies like Planned Parenthood still receive millions of taxpayer dollars each year. Because federal funds pay for other parts of an organization’s operations, more money is available to fund abortion services, thus turning these taxpayer dollars into de-facto subsidy for abortion. This bill closes that loophole by prohibiting federal funds not just from being used to pay for abortions, but also from going to any entity that performs abortions.”
Daines said, “American taxpayers don’t want their hard-earned money being used to support the abortion industry. Instead this funding should be redirected to community health centers that provide more comprehensive health care for women.”
Ernst added, “Protecting the lives of the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn, is a deeply moral and personal issue. Like so many Iowans, and millions of Americans, I strongly believe our hard-earned tax dollars should never be used to foot the bill for abortion procedures. This legislation builds off of our effort to ensure that taxpayers in Iowa, and across the country, are not forced to pay for a practice they passionately object to and which violates their own beliefs.”
Meanwhile, Hyde-Smith said, “Second-party groups and organizations that accept federal funding should not be allowed to turn around to support abortion providers. They should abide by the federal ban on using taxpayer dollars to take the lives of unborn children. This bill is intended to ensure they follow the letter of the law.
According to Blackburn’s office, every year, the abortion industry receives millions of dollars in direct and indirect federal funding, even though federal law has prohibited use of federal funds for abortion since 1976. A January 2018 Marist poll found that 60 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars for abortion.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood Federation of America alone received over $93 million in direct taxpayer funding. President Donald Trump took an important step last year by proposing the Protect Life Rule, which cut taxpayer funding under the Title X program for any facility that performs abortions or refers clients to them.
Abortion providers also benefit from indirect funding when entities that receive federal funding provide or fund abortions. These resources enable abortion providers to focus their resources on abortion. It is important to end this support for the abortion industry. Entities must choose to associate with the abortion industry or to receive federal funds.
The Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act prohibits federal funds from being provided to any entity, either directly or indirectly, unless the entity certifies that it will not perform an abortion or provide funding to any entity that funds an abortion. Exceptions are made for abortions where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. Hospitals are exempted unless they provide funds to non-hospital entities that perform abortions.
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