By Erik Wasson
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Saturday used the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which declared laws banning abortion unconstitutional, to denounce the decision and highlight new legislative efforts the House GOP is undertaking to limit the use of abortion.
“Today marks the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s tragic Roe v. Wade decision that tore asunder a right to life our Founding Fathers described so indelibly in our Declaration of Independence. The decision denigrated the respect we must have for life at all stages, especially the innocent unborn,” the Speaker said in a statement. “The new House majority has listened to the people and pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion. A ban is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land.”
House Republicans on Thursday introduced two bills that seek to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions. The first bill, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, seeks to establish a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal subsidies for abortion and for healthcare plans that cover abortion. It would make permanent the so-called Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding but must currently be reintroduced every year.
“This is critical, common-sense legislation that deserves the support of the people’s representatives and the president,” Boehner said Saturday.
The second bill the GOP leadership is backing is the Protect Life Act, which seeks to rewrite provisions of the healthcare reform law to ensure that it does not allow for taxpayer funding of abortion. The bill is modeled after an amendment to the House reform bill introduced by former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) that didn't make it into the final law.
Boehner also welcomed to Washington participants in Monday's annual pro-life March to Life.
“The cause of life endures today in large part due to the vigilance of all those Americans who, led by Nellie Gray, travel to Washington each year at this time to march and pray for the protection of the unborn. These efforts--aimed at restoring the damage of the Roe decision--must continue. Americans love life as much as we love freedom. These two founding principles are intertwined and form the basis of our national character. Without respect for life, freedom is in jeopardy,” he said.