More on Publicly-Funded Abortion in DC
What follows is a letter sent by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) to members of the U.S. House of Representatives on July 2, 2009. View, print, or download the PDF version of this letter.
RE: NRLC scoring alert: Subcommittee-reported Financial Services Appropriations bill would pay for abortion on demand with congressionally appropriated funds
Dear Member of Congress:
Article I of the Constitution says that Congress holds complete legislative authority over the District of Columbia (“exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever”). That is why the entire budget for the District of Columbia (including locally generated revenues) is appropriated by Congress, nowadays through the annual Financial Services appropriations bill.
Thus, Congress bears the ultimate constitutional responsibility for the use of these funds — which makes them quite different from funds raised and controlled by the sovereign states. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) believes that the defense of innocent human life is a matter of sufficient gravity to fully justify the exercise of Congress’s Article I power.
Regrettably, on June 25, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services reported out a FY 2010 Financial Services appropriations bill (as yet unnumbered) that would gut the longstanding language (often called the “Dornan Amendment”), which has been included in the annual D.C. appropriations bill continuously since 1996, and which has prohibited government-funded abortion (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest). The subcommittee-reported bill contains new language that would allow the city government to pay for abortion on demand with so-called “local” funds appropriated by Congress. The true cost of enacting this change would be in the loss of approximately 1,000 extra human lives during each fiscal year that government-funded abortion is available.
We understand that when the full Appropriations Committee marks up the bill on July 7, Congressman Todd Tiahrt and Congressman Lincoln Davis will attempt to restore the traditional pro-life language. Unless the traditional prolife provision is restored, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is compelled to urge you to oppose the Financial Services appropriations bill. A vote in favor of the bill, so long as it contains the new language that guts the pro-life policy, will be accurately reported in NRLC’s annual congressional scorecard as a vote to fund abortion on demand with funds appropriated by Congress.
NRLC Legislative Director