Analysis

‘It could’ve been worse’ isn’t progress: Congress’s spending bills aren’t pro-life victories

congress, pro-life, abortion survivors

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two spending packages for fiscal year 2020, which not only costs $1.4 trillion in taxpayer dollars, but also make no strides in adding legal protections for preborn children.

Previous pro-life protections are maintained in the bills, including the Title X Family Planning Regulation and the HHS Fetal Tissue Announcement.  In addition, new pro-abortion proposals that had been included in House-passed appropriations bills were removed. However, the FY2020 spending bills still include several provisions that directly support abortion and abortion providers.

Of the millions of dollars in mandatory funding that were extended in the bills, $75 million will continue to go to Obamacare’s sex education program, PREP, along with Title V sexual risk avoidance education (SRA). $3 million of the PREP funding will go to Planned Parenthood, despite the plethora of incriminating incidents that have revealed the nation’s largest abortion provider’s role in harvesting and selling aborted baby parts, in failing to report incidents of rape/potential rape for their patients, and accepting gender- and race-based donations targeting female and Black preborn children. Additionally, Planned Parenthood will continue to receive millions more through Medicare reimbursements and discretionary funds. In their 2017 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood indicated that 34% of their revenue came from “Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants.” Congressional spending packages for FY2020 don’t include any provisions to further curb the millions of taxpayer dollars going to America’s abortion giant.

READ: PROOF: Planned Parenthood funds, supports senators against saving born-alive infants

Another aspect of the trillion-plus dollar deals that pro-life taxpayers should be aware of is the extension of tax credits that can be used to pay for abortion coverage. The bills actually expand taxpayer dollars going to abortion through Obamacare insurance plans. And, two amendments included in the packages — one for credit for health insurance costs and the other for Indian employment credit — are not covered by the Hyde Amendment, meaning funding going into these programs can be used to cover abortion costs. 

Many have hailed the exclusion of the Shaheen Amendment — introduced by Rep. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and included in the House version of the spending packages — as a pro-life victory. This amendment would have overridden current pro-life protections in international family planning funding policy and increased funding for pro-abortion non-government agencies from $575 million to at least $632.55 million. It also outlined reporting mechanisms written to specifically target pro-life providers. In short, the Shaheen Amendment would have been a financial blow and a major pro-life setback. 

The Shaheen Amendment and other pro-abortion components that passed in the House version of the bills were excluded from the overall FY2020 packages, and existing pro-life protections were for the most part maintained. Yet, the pro-life American taxpayer should be asking him or herself what these spending packages will cost in 2020. In addition to the hefty $1.4 trillion in taxpayer dollars, the packages’ failure to cut funding to America’s abortion providers or add any further legal protections for the preborn will contribute to the loss of thousands of preborn lives. 

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