Republicans to launch new push for federal restrictions on abortion funding

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced this weekend that Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) will soon introduce legislation that would bar Congress from using taxpayer money to support abortions or abortion coverage.

The legislation would extend the so-called "Hyde amendment," which in its current form only applies to Health and Human Services (mainly Medicaid) funds allocated in the department's annual appropriations bill;
the issue came up again during the healthcare reform debate when an amendment by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.) to apply the Hyde language to the bill passed the House but not the Senate.

"I believe this must be the next objective for pro-life America," Boehner said, speaking Saturday at the 40th annual National Right to Life Convention in Pittsburgh, Penn. "It's clear from the health care debate that the American people don't want their tax dollars paying for abortion, and a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives agrees."

Boehner said he'd be a an original cosponsor of the bill and called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to bring it to an immediate vote once it's introduced.

"It's the will of the people," Boehner said, "and it ought to be the law of the land - right now."