The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to ban the use of federal funds for abortion, making permanent the Hyde Amendment and removing abortion funds from Obamacare.
In a vote of 238 to 183, the House approved the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. Also called H.R. 7, the Act, introduced by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion, in effect making the Hyde Amendment permanent.
The Hyde Amendment is a measure that bans the use of taxpayer funds for abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is at stake or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. Passed in 1976, it is traditionally renewed every year and has saved approximately 2 million babies from abortion.
Smith said it would be good to remember that the loss of Hillary Clinton, who promised to repeal the Hyde Amendment, during the presidential election helped the nation evade “an existential threat to the unborn child in the United States and overseas.”
“The Hyde Amendment, as we know from Michael New’s report from the Charlotte Lozier [Institute], is saving about 60,000 unborn babies every year – two million since 1976 when it was enacted,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And that was all going to be eliminated had Hillary Clinton won. Pro-lifers need to realize that we evaded…the worst setback for the pro-life movement ever, had she won.”
H.R. 7 prohibits federal funds from being expended for “health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion,” which removes Obamacare coverage for abortion. Legislators are still working to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act.
In 2014 alone, more than 1,000 Obamacare plans included abortion on demand, according to the Government Accountability Office.
H.R. 7 also imposes abortion restrictions on government-operated or government-owned healthcare facilities and people working in such facilities.
“We are a pro-life Congress,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “Today we renewed our commitment to the Hyde Amendment with the passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This legislation protects the conscience of American taxpayers by ensuring that not a single dollar of their hard-earned money goes to fund abortions.”
Ryan emphasized that defending the rights of the people, especially those of the “defenseless,” should be the government’s top priority in leading the U.S. to becoming a “good and moral nation.”
According to the White House, Pres. Donald Trump “strongly supports H.R. 7.”
"If the President were presented with H.R. 7 in its present form, he would sign the bill," the White House said in a statement.
Pro-life advocates praised the passage of the bill. National Right to Life president said the measure puts the government “one step closer” to leaving the “business of paying for abortion once and for all.”