by WorldTribune Staff, March 8, 2021
The Democrats’ $1.9 trillion covid relief bill passed by the Senate on Saturday includes millions of dollars for the abortion industry.
Over the objections of Republicans and pro-life groups, Democrats included $50 million in funding for Planned Parenthood in the so-called American Rescue Plan Act, which critics say provides little funding for actual covid relief.
Republicans’ efforts to apply the Hyde Amendment to the legislation was defeated by Democrats, meaning that the “federal funding may be used to cover abortions in a break with last year’s novel coronavirus spending,” Valerie Richardson noted in a March 7 report for The Washington Times.
The Hyde Amendment, which dates back to 1976, prohibits federal dollars from being used to fund most abortions.
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List said that the “allows taxpayer funding for abortion contrary to the decades-old Hyde Amendment that has applied to every other COVID-19 relief package,” creating a “slush fund for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.”
“We have had five bipartisan covid relief packages and not one of them included any provisions that would undermine pro-life protections,” said Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, after the vote. “Preventing taxpayer dollars from funding abortions is something a majority of Americans agree with. I’m very disappointed to see Senate Democrats use ‘covid relief’ to get away with their pro-abortion agenda.”
An amendment proposed by Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, to prohibit the funding from being used to cover abortion failed on a 52-47 vote. A three-fifths majority was needed to pass the amendment.
The stimulus bill goes back to the House for approval, a vote expected for Tuesday, before heading to Joe Biden’s desk, where his handlers are expected to approve his signature on the bill.
SBA List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser cited a Marist College/Knights of Columbus poll released in January that found 58 percent of U.S. adults surveyed, including 65 percent of independent voters and 31 percent of Democrats, oppose taxpayer funding for abortions.
“Shame on Senate Democrats who exploited Covid-19 relief to expand taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, breaking with more than four decades of bipartisan consensus,” said Dannenfelser.
Planned Parenthood Action said that the relief bill was needed to “continue addressing the health care and economic crises caused by the pandemic— including support for sexual and reproductive health care.”
Richardson noted that “Biden has made it a priority to reverse the Trump administration’s abortion policies. He has already rescinded the Mexico City Policy preventing foreign-aid dollars from paying for overseas abortions while moving to lift a ban on health-care providers funded under Title X from referring clients for abortion.”