House Democrats Block Pro-Life Amendments to Appropriations Bills

WASHINGTON – Late last night, two pro-life amendments to H.R. 2740, the House Appropriations bill, were defeated by nearly uniform opposition from pro-abortion Democrats.

“We are extremely disappointed, but not at all surprised, that Democrats are using legislation to fund the government to attack critical and popular pro-life policies related to conscience rights of healthcare providers and taxpayer dollars going to facilities that provide abortion,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “We thank President Trump and his administration for their commitment to vetoing legislation that rolls back pro-life protections.”

The first Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), was defeated by a vote of 230-192. All Republicans voted in favor and were joined by 3 Democrats.

H.R. 2740 would block implementation and enforcement of the recent rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. That rule would enforce approximately 25 existing longstanding statutory civil rights provisions that protect health care providers from suffering discrimination if they do not participate in abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.

The Cole Amendment would have struck this language and permitted the ”Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care” rule to stand.

“It is clear Democrats want to roll back the clock and put increasing pressure on health care providers to violate their moral convictions with regard to abortion,” said Tobias.

The second Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.), was defeated by a vote of 231-191. All Republicans voted in favor and were joined by 3 Democrats.

H.R. 2740 would block the Administration’s final rule related to prolife changes to the Title X family planning program. Under the rule, abortion facilities may not be in the same location where family planning services are delivered. The rule also states that Title X grantees may not refer for elective abortion.

The rule does not cut one dime of funding for family planning, but ensures that funding goes to health facilities that do not perform or promote abortion as family planning. Under the Obama Administration policy (which H.R. 2740 would restore), Title X consistently funded family planning through organizations that promoted and provided abortions.

The Roby Amendment would have struck the language that prevents the implementation of the pro-life Title X rule.

More votes are expected, and National Right to Life strongly opposes final passage of H.R. 2740. A current scorecard of prolife votes can be viewed here.