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Roby offers pro-life amendment to appropriations bill

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, proposed an a pro-Life amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Fiscal Year 2020 funding bill during full committee markup Wednesday.

Roby’s amendment would allow the courts, rather than the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, to decide the fate of President Donald Trump administration’s proposed rule restricting Title X family planning grants from being steered to entities that are not physically and financially separated from abortion providers.

“As you all know, the Hyde Amendment has persevered through every funding bill passed through Congress in recent history, and our message to the American people has been clear — no direct tax dollars should be used to perform abortions,” Roby said. “Despite the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment, abortion providers like Planned Parenthood have been able to get their hands on American tax dollars through Title X funds. As I am unapologetically pro-life, I don’t want this, the people I represent don’t want this and the American people don’t want this.”

“The Trump Administration’s finalized rule would require any clinic using Title X funds to be physically and financially separated from facilities that perform abortions; this would draw a clear, bright line between family planning services and abortion providers,” Roby continued. “But as it’s currently written, this underlying bill would prohibit the secretary of HHS from adopting any rules or recommendations made after Jan. 18, 2017, just two days before Donald Trump became president.”

“My amendment would ensure that the Trump administration’s finalized rule has a fighting chance to become law as it makes its way through our judicial process,” Roby continued. “I urge all of my colleagues to join me to protect the spirit of the Hyde Amendment and to ensure that our constituents’ tax dollars are not being used to end innocent lives.”

In February, the Department of Health and Human Services issued this rule, but a series of court injunctions have frozen these rule changes, and as a result, hundreds of Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide are still receiving federal tax dollars through Title X family planning grants. While the rule is going through the judicial process, the Democratic majority on the House Appropriations Committee has elected to tie the hands of HHS through legislation stating that the department may only act in accordance with regulations established before Jan. 18, 2017, two days before Donald Trump became president.

“My amendment is simple — we cannot handcuff the current administration to regulations of the past,” Roby said. “The Trump administration’s finalized rule would require any clinic using Title X funds to be physically and financially separated from facilities that perform abortions, drawing a clear, bright line between family planning services and abortion providers. My amendment would ensure that this rule has a fighting chance to become law as it makes its way through our judicial process.”

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Roby is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Democrats have a commanding majority in the U.S. House of Representatives making it virtually impossible to move pro-Life legislation.

Martha Roby is serving her fifth term representing Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

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