A day after House Republicans passed a bill repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law, Members moved to introduce legislation to make it illegal to use taxpayer funding for abortions.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the decision to role out the bill as H.R. 3 underscores its importance.
“A ban on taxpayer-funded abortion is the will of the people and it ought to be the will of the land,” Boehner said at a press conference Thursday. “The current law, particularly as enforced by this administration, does not reflect the will of the people.”
Boehner said Republicans are fulfilling their promises to the American people, noting that banning federal funding of abortion was part of their election-year “Pledge to America.”
“Our Members feel very strong about the sanctity of human life,” Boehner said. “We made a commitment to the American people in our Pledge to America. And we’re continuing to fulfill our commitment.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a longtime anti-abortion rights advocate, introduced the bill. The measure also includes “conscientious protections” that allow medical workers to refuse to participate in abortion procedures against their will, he said.
Cutting off funding for abortions is the best way to ensure a decrease in the number of procedures, Smith said.
“President Obama has said that he wants abortions to be rare. ... If you want fewer abortions, take away the federal subsidy,” Smith added.
Reps. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) separately introduced a bill that would prohibit the health care law from funding abortions.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.