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Senator Lankford Co-Sponsors Bill to End Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

WASHINGTON, DC— Senator James Lankford (R-OK) this week co-sponsored a bill to enact a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion. Currently, similar policies, such as the Hyde Amendment, require annual passage and do not apply to Obamacare.

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (S. 582) also includes a provision requiring all health insurance plans offered by Obamacare exchanges to disclose coverage of elective abortion procedures and the abortion surcharge embedded into abortion-covering plans. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) is the lead author of this bill.

“It is important that our nation respects the life of every person, no matter their race, age, gender, size or wealth,” said Lankford. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is needed to ensure that taxpayer money never goes to the killing of innocent life. I understand that Americans are divided on the issue of abortion, but it is common-sense that we shouldn’t force a person that is passionately opposed to the death of the unborn to assist in paying for the procedure.” 

“During the debate on Obamacare in 2009, President Obama promised the American people that under his plan, ‘No federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,’” said Wicker. “We know now that is simply not true. Passing this bill would establish a comprehensive policy prohibiting the use of any public funding for abortion. Eliminating loopholes is critical to ensuring that no federal program, including those under Obamacare, is exempt from the prohibition.”

The legislation is the Senate companion to H.R. 7, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). That bill passed the House by a vote of 242-179 on January 22, 2015.

Existing laws that would also be made permanent under S. 582 include the Smith FEHBP amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage for federal employees, and the Dornan amendment, which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia.

Last year, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a report showing that taxpayer dollars paid for more than 1,000 health insurance plans that included elective abortion.