Editor’s note. The following was delivered this afternoon on the House floor by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) as the House debated the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” Rep. Smith is the bill’s sponsor.
America has changed, Mr. Speaker and today is more pro-life than ever.
By ever increasing majorities—especially among our young people—the megatrend is to protect the child in the womb from the insidious violence of abortion and protect women from the trauma—often lifelong emotional harm—from procuring an abortion.
This paradigm shift, reflected in all the major polls, is the direct result of pro-life education, pro-life laws including funding bans, pregnancy care centers, informed consent and parental involvement statutes, the molding of consciences by the faith based community and advances in ultrasound that have shattered the pernicious pro-abortion myth that the baby in the womb isn’t a human person or alive or of innate value.
Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director Abbey Johnson was shocked into her new pro-life view by witnessing an ultrasound guided abortion of a 13 week old baby who was dismembered and pulverized in real time right before her eyes at the clinic. Abbey Johnson wrote in her book Unplanned,
“I could see the tiny body violently twisting… it looked as if the baby was being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed and then the little body crumpled.. the last thing I saw was the tiny perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube. And then everything was gone. The image of that tiny baby mangled and sucked away kept replaying itself in my mind. What was in this woman’s womb just a moment ago was alive. It wasn’t tissue. It wasn’t cells. This was a human baby, fighting for life. A battle was lost in the blink of an eye.
‘What I have told people for years’ – 8 years as a clinic director at a Planned Parenthood clinic – ‘what I have told people for years,’ Abby Johnson continues, ‘what I believed and taught and defended is a lie.’”
But perhaps the greatest reason for the huge shift in public opinion in favor of life is the growing number of extraordinarily brave post abortive women who deeply regret their abortions, and today are silent no more.
One post abortive woman told a group outside the US Supreme Court that as she lay on the operating table, the abortionist laughed as he inserted a sharp knife into her womb and said, ‘Oh, it’s trying to get away.’ Partially sedated, the woman—the mother—immediately pleaded with the nurse and doctor to stop the abortion and “spare my child.” They told her to shut up. Today she is deeply wounded by that cruel assault on her baby.
Mr. Speaker, there are at least two victims in every abortion. It is time to recognize and accept the inconvenient truth that abortion exploits women.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, has had two abortions. Today she has joined the growing coalition of women who deeply regret their abortions. Out of deep personal pain and compassion for others, they challenge us to respect, protect and tangibly love both mother and child. The women of Silent No More give post-abortive women a safe place to grieve and a road map to reconciliation. And to society at large, these brave women compel us to rethink and reassess the cheap sophistry of the abortion culture. Reflecting on her famous uncle’s speech, the “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Alveda King asks us, “How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder the children?”
For more than four decades, pro-life lawmakers at all levels of government have tried to protect both mother and child from what is euphemistically called choice.
Want to reduce abortions? End public funding.
There is no doubt whatsoever that ending public funding for abortions saves lives.
Even the vociferously pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute in a June 2009 Report stated that, “approximately one-fourth of women who would have Medicaid-funded abortions [if the Hyde Amendment did not exist] instead give birth when this funding is unavailable.”
I vividly remember the late Congressman Henry Hyde being moved to tears when he learned that the Hyde Amendment had likely saved the lives of more than a million children—who today are perhaps in school and getting ready for summer vacation, perhaps playing sports or if they are in their 20s or 30s building their own families.
HR3—the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act—comprehensively ensures that all programs authorized and appropriated by the federal government, including Obamacare, do not subsidize the killing of babies, except in the rare cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.
HR 3 ends the current IRS policy allowing tax favored treatment for abortions under itemized deductions, HSAs, MSAs and FSAs. HR 3 also ends the use of tax credits under Obamacare to purchase insurance plans that include abortion, except cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.
Today we seek to end taxpayer complicity in abortion violence. No taxpayer should be coerced to pay, subsidize or facilitate the dismemberment, chemical poisoning, starvation or suctioning to death of a child and the harming of a woman.
Let’s not forget that under Obamacare,
· Section 1303, in health plans in state exchanges that go into effect in 2014, authorize tax credits to buy insurance policies that include abortion on demand;
· Section 1101 immediately created high risk insurance pools and appropriates its funds outside the bounds of the Hyde Amendment, thus permitting those funds to be used for abortion depending on the whim of the HHS Secretary;
· Section 10503 vastly expands community health centers but omits any reference whatsoever to the Hyde Amendment and thus leaves the door wide open for both providing and paying for abortions at these health care facilities.
Regarding conscience rights—HR 3 protects pro-life health care entities from discrimination by state, local and federal governments and empowers the courts with the authority to prevent and redress actual or threatened violations of conscience.
The need for this protection is great. According to Alliance of Catholic Health Care, which represents California’s Catholic Health Systems and Hospitals, “California’s Catholic hospitals operate in a public policy environment that regularly challenges the concept of conscience-rights protections by attempting to coerce them and other health care providers to perform, be complicit in, or pay for abortion.”
On three different occasions in the past three years, the California Department of Managed Health Care denied health insurance plan applications because the plans excluded abortion coverage and demanded that all healthcare plans must provide coverage for all basic health care services and medically-necessary health services including so-called “medically-necessary abortions.” This is a clear violation of the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause, but the injured parties lack judicial recourse. This legislation would remedy this problem by making the policy permanent and providing access to the courts.