Ahead of this week’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., Iowa’s U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst joined their colleagues to introduce the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019” (S.109). The measure would establish a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion. Similar policies, such as the Hyde Amendment, currently require annual passage and do not apply to Obamacare.
“An Iowa boy born five short months after conception named Micah Pickering stands today as living proof that we can always do more to protect unborn children. For those of us who embrace the sanctity of life, using taxpayer dollars to fund and support abortion just isn’t right. One way to fix that problem is to pass this bill and ensure that taxpayer money doesn’t go to funding abortions,” Grassley said.
“Like millions of Americans, I do not believe our hard-earned tax dollars should ever be used to cover the costs of abortion procedures. For many, protecting the lives of the defenseless, the unborn, is a deeply moral and personal issue, and they should not be forced to pay for a practice they passionately object to and which violates their own beliefs,” Ernst said.
In addition to establishing a government-wide ban on federal funding for abortion, the legislation would:
- Prohibit funding for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion with funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law;
- Prohibit abortion in federal health facilities (such as DOD and VA hospitals) and ensure that no federal employee provides abortion services in the course of their employment;
- Make permanent the provisions of the DC Hyde Amendment, or the Dornan Amendment, which clarifies that the federal provisions regarding abortion funding also apply to the government of the District of Columbia;
- Ensure that elective abortion is not deductible for tax purposes by amending Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code; and
- Ensure that Affordable Care Act premium assistance subsidies provided in the form of refundable advanceable tax credits are not used to pay for health insurance plans that include abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
The legislation also includes a provision requiring that all plans offered by Obamacare exchanges disclose whether a plan includes coverage of elective abortion procedures, as well as the abortion surcharge embedded into abortion-covering plans.
The U.S. Senate is expected to take a procedural vote on the bill this week.
The bill is led by Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and James Lankford, R-Okla and co-sponsored by 32 other senators including: John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., David Perdue, R-Ga., James Risch, R-Idaho, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., John Thune, R-S.D., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Todd Young, R-Ind., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Ben Sasse, R-Neb., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.