In the first day of the new congressional session, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill that includes a provision to repeal a pro-life policy. The bill was one of two appropriations bills passed on Thursday in an attempt to end the partial government shutdown.
The bill, which would resume funding for the federal government, includes language that would repeal the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, which prevents non-governmental organizations from receiving U.S. health assistance funds if they either promote or provide abortions.
Pro-life congressmen and campaigners spoke out against the rider which would overturn the policy.
In a floor speech, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) criticized newly-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for it inclusion in the bill, saying it would “eviscerate” the pro-life protection.
“Madam Speaker, if reopening the government is the goal, if ending the shutdown is the goal, why does this appropriations package contain a brand-new poison pill rider, Section 7071, that overturns a major, comprehensive, current-day pro-life policy?” asked Smith.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser condemned the move, saying that it showed the real priorities of the new House majority leadership.
“While many lawmakers are focused on getting the government funded and running, Nancy Pelosi did not waste a moment trying to force American taxpayers to prop up the abortion industry. Her first act as Speaker leaves no doubt about House Democrats’ senseless priorities for the next two years,” said Dannenfelser.
Smith praised the policy as one that “establishes pro-child safeguards that are benign and humane conditions” that seek to protect “innocent children who might otherwise die from chemical poisoning or by dismemberment.”
“For years, pro-abortion organizations have used U.S. taxpayer funds to weaken, undermine or reverse pro-life laws in other nations, and destroy precious lives of these children,” he said.
Smith also accused Pelosi of inconsistency, noting that earlier in the day she had “admonished [the House] to protect God’s creation.”
“These unborn children are God’s creation. They cry out for our protection,” Smith stated.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.