WASHINGTON—Deirdre McQuade, primary spokeswoman on abortion for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed passage of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017” (H.R. 7) by the U.S. House of Representatives. “By passing this legislation, the House has taken a decisive step toward respect for unborn human life, reflecting the will of the American people,” she said.
Co-sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), the pro-life bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 238-183 on January 24, three days before the annual March for Life in Washington.
The bill codifies a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage. It also requires health plans offered under the Affordable Care Act to disclose the extent of their coverage for abortion and the amount of any surcharge for that coverage to consumers.
Cardinal Dolan wrote to Congress prior to the vote urging support for the legislation, saying it “will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for more than 40 years: The federal government should not use its funding power to support and promote elective abortion, and should not force taxpayers to subsidize this violence.”
“Public opinion polls consistently reveal that strong majorities of women, minorities, and low-income Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. This includes a majority of even those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’,” Cardinal Dolan wrote. “In addition to having broad public support, recent analysis found that as many as two million lives have been saved as a result of restrictions on federal abortion funding.”
“The USCCB hopes that the U.S. Senate will take up this vital legislation soon,” McQuade said.