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Shelby co-sponsors Pro-Life legislation

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, January 23, 2017, US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) announced that he was co-sponsoring Senate bill S184 to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to kill the unborn.

Sen. Shelby said in a statement, “As Americans gather for the annual March for Life this Friday, I am proud to support their efforts to protect the unborn. Today I joined more than 30 of my Senate colleagues in cosponsoring the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” This bill seeks to create a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion.”

The legislation is sponsored by Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-Mississippi). Sen. Wicker said, “Taxpayer money should not be used to fund a procedure that so many Americans find morally objectionable. The time is ripe for us to enact a permanent solution that protects American taxpayers from funding abortions. This bill would establish these protections, in addition to making sure that people are notified if they have selected an abortion-covering health-care plan under Obamacare. Until we are able to undo these harmful health-care policies, transparency of the plans is critical.”

Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) said, “Millions of Americans do not want to use their hard-earned money to cover abortion services. Currently, under Obamacare, many Americans unknowingly pay for abortion services covered under their health care plan. Our bill will permanently prohibit any taxpayer dollar from being used to pay for abortions and protect the rights for consumers to choose an insurance plan that is in line with their beliefs and values.”

The legislation includes a provision championed by Sen. Roberts requiring that all plans offered by Obamacare exchanges disclose whether a plan includes coverage of elective abortion procedures, as well as the abortion surcharge embedded into abortion-covering plans.

The bill is the Senate companion to HR7 authored by US Representative Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois). The House of Representatives will likely vote on its companion bill this week, before the March for Life events.

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US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said, “This week the House is taking action on HR7 the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which I have co-sponsored. Under Obamacare, taxpayer dollars are used to pay for Obamacare health plans that cover abortion, breaking from the longstanding Hyde Amendment that protects taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions through government programs like Medicaid. H.R. 7 will make the Hyde Amendment and other current abortion funding prohibitions permanent and government-wide. The legislation will also ensure that Obamacare faithfully adheres to the Hyde Amendment while Congress works to repeal and replace the flawed health care law.”

Existing laws that would also be made permanent under S184 include the Smith FEHBP amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage for federal employees, as well as the Dornan amendment, which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia. In 2014, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a report showing that taxpayer dollars paid for more than 1,000 health insurance plans that included elective abortion.

The bill is supported by the National Right to Life, the Family Research Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, March for Life, and US Conference of Catholic Bishops, among others.

Congresswoman Roby said, “I’m hopeful that the Republican-led House will pass HR7 this week, taking a stand for life and advancing necessary protections for it.”


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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