Bishops welcome House passage of "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" Act

May 6, 2011

The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed passage of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3) by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill codifies a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage, improves federal conscience protection for health care providers and entities, and closes various loopholes that give tax-preferred status to abortion. 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 251-175 on May 4.

Cardinal DiNardo, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, had written to Congress on January 21 urging support for H.R. 3, saying that it will “write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years: The federal government should not use taxpayers’ money to support and promote elective abortion. … While Congress’s policy has been remarkably consistent for decades, implementation of that policy in practice has been piecemeal, confusing and sometimes sadly inadequate.”

“By passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the House has taken a decisive step toward protecting human life, reflecting the will of the American people,” Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for policy and communications of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said.

“H.R. 3 also protects the civil rights of health care providers who conscientiously object to involvement in abortion,” McQuade said. The bill updates and codifies the Weldon conscience protection amendment to Labor/HHS appropriations bills approved by Congress every year since 2004, ensuring that federal agencies and state and local governments receiving federal funds do not discriminate against health care providers that do not perform or provide abortions.

USCCB testimony supporting H.R. 3 on February 8 is available at