Multiple Pro-Life Bills Introduced in House and Senate

By Marie Smith, Parliament Network for Critical Issues

Pro-life Members of the House and Senate have been busy introducing pro-life legislation since the beginning of the 116th Congress. So far 28 legislative initiatives have been introduced while numerous pro-life amendments have been offered in committee. 

The legislation varies and includes the Informed Consent Act that would criminalize any abortion or sterilization procedure that occurs without informed consent; the Dignity for Aborted Children Act which would require that abortionists arrange for the respectful disposition of the remains of unborn children by cremation or interment; the Protecting Life in Crisis Act that prohibits any funds authorized or appropriated for the purposes of preventing, preparing for, or responding to the COVID–19 pandemic, domestically and internationally, from going towards abortions or abortion coverage.

A number of the bills are reintroductions. Rep Chris Smith, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, has reintroduced his No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 18) with Senator Wicker sponsoring it in the Senate (S.92). The Act makes permanent the long-standing Hyde Amendment as well as similar provisions banning federal funding of abortion by ensuring that no federal dollars are used to pay for abortion and health plans that include abortion.

“When federal taxpayer dollars are not available to help effectuate the demise of unborn babies, lives are saved,” said Rep. Smith who also emphasized, “Abortion violence must be replaced with compassion and empathy for women and for defenseless unborn baby girls and boys.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), a cosponsor of Smith’s legislation, said: “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act codifies critical federal policy protecting the unborn: the Hyde Amendment. It’s long past time to make Hyde protections permanent, ensuring human rights for our children and listening to the voices of our nation’s citizens.”

Smith explained, “Lives have been saved by the Hyde Amendment. Over two million people who would have been aborted instead survived and their mothers benefited from prenatal health care and support.”

 “This bill represents exactly what the American people support: Not a dime of their tax dollars going to fund abortions,” Hartzler continued. “I commend Rep. Chris Smith for introducing this legislation and am proud to stand alongside him in our fight for life.”

Smith also reintroduced the ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’ (H.R. 1080), with Sen. Graham introducing it in the Senate (S.61). Sponsored by a third of U.S. House, the Act recognizes the medical evidence that unborn children feel pain.

“We know that by twenty weeks unborn babies killed by abortion experience excruciating suffering and physical pain,” said Smith. “This unconscionable human rights abuse must stop. Pain, we all dread it. We avoid it. We even fear it. And we all go to extraordinary lengths to mitigate its severity and its duration for ourselves. Yet every day, a whole segment of human beings is being subjected to painful—and deadly—procedures.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act to prohibit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from giving Title X grants to groups like Planned Parenthood that promote and/or provide abortions.

“We must close loopholes that allow for abortion giants like Planned Parenthood to receive federal funding,” Blackburn said. “This legislation will help end taxpayer-funded support for the abortion industry and protect the unborn.” 

She said the money would be better spent on comprehensive healthcare rather than groups that make money killing unborn babies in abortions. 

Planned Parenthood receives more than half a billion taxpayer dollars annually, largely through Medicaid reimbursements and Title X grants.