Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Tuesday introduced the Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act to halt the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services.
“Sixty percent of Americans oppose their tax dollars being used to fund abortions,” Senator Blackburn said. “We should honor their wishes by ending the use of public funds. The pro-life community should not be forced to directly or indirectly fund this abhorrent practice.”
“Abortion providers do not deserve taxpayer subsidies,” said Senator Cramer. “While current law prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, companies like Planned Parenthood still receive millions of taxpayer dollars each year. Because federal funds pay for other parts of an organization’s operations, more money is available to fund abortion services, thus turning these taxpayer dollars into de-facto subsidy for abortion. This bill closes that loophole by prohibiting federal funds not just from being used to pay for abortions, but also from going to any entity that performs abortions.”
“American taxpayers don’t want their hard-earned money being used to support the abortion industry,” Senator Daines said. “Instead this funding should be redirected to community health centers that provide more comprehensive health care for women.”
“Protecting the lives of the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn, is a deeply moral and personal issue," said Senator Ernst. "Like so many Iowans, and millions of Americans, I strongly believe our hard-earned tax dollars should never be used to foot the bill for abortion procedures. This legislation builds off of our effort to ensure that taxpayers in Iowa, and across the country, are not forced to pay for a practice they passionately object to and which violates their own beliefs.”
“Second-party groups and organizations that accept federal funding should not be allowed to turn around to support abortion providers," said Senator Hyde-Smith. "They should abide by the federal ban on using taxpayer dollars to take the lives of unborn children. This bill is intended to ensure they follow the letter of the law."
The Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act is supported by the Susan B. Anthony List.
Every year, the abortion industry receives millions of dollars in direct and indirect federal funding, even though federal law has prohibited use of federal funds for abortion since 1976, said officials. A January 2018 Marist poll found that 60 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars for abortion.
Abortion providers directly receive millions of dollars of federal funds each year. In 2015, Planned Parenthood Federation of America alone received over $93 million in direct taxpayer funding. President Donald Trump took a step last year by proposing the Protect Life Rule, which cut taxpayer funding under the Title X program for any facility that performs abortions or refers clients to them.
Abortion providers also benefit from indirect funding when entities that receive federal funding provide or fund abortions. These resources enable abortion providers to focus their resources on abortion. Entities must choose to associate with the abortion industry or to receive federal funds, said officials.
The bill prohibits federal funds from being provided to any entity, either directly or indirectly, unless the entity certifies that it will not perform an abortion or provide funding to any entity that funds an abortion. Exceptions are made for abortions where the pregnancy is a the result of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. Hospitals are exempted unless they provide funds to non-hospital entities that perform abortions.
Senator Blackburn introduced S.105, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act to strip abortion providers of Title X funds in January.