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National Right to Life Criticizes Passage of House Appropriations Package H.R. 7617

by | Jul 31, 2020

WASHINGTON—Voting 217-197, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved the appropriations omnibus H.R. 7617, known as the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2021.

On July 29th, National Right to Life issued a letter sent to members urging them to vote against the legislation. The Trump Administration has published a Statement of Administration Policy stating that if H.R. 7617 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he veto it.

“These poison pill provisions in H.R. 7617 seek to undermine the pro-life policies of the Trump Administration,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Sadly, those who would suffer from the pro-abortion provisions would be women and their unborn children.”

H.R. 7617 would block implementation and enforcement of the rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. That rule would enforce approximately 25 existing longstanding statutory civil rights provisions that protect health care providers from suffering discrimination if they do not participate in abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.

The bill would block the Administration’s final rule related to pro-life changes to the Title X family planning program. Under the rule, abortion facilities may not be in the same location where family planning services are delivered. The rule also states that Title X grantees may not refer for elective abortion.

H.R. 7617 also repeals the “D.C. Hyde Amendment” (sometimes called the Dornan Amendment). The “D.C. Hyde Amendment” prohibits the use of government funds to pay for abortion in the Federal District (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest), which for decades (with brief interruptions) has been part of the annual appropriations bill that covers the District. Published academic studies demonstrate that policies that bar tax-funded abortions actually prevent one-third or more of the abortions that would otherwise occur among the covered populations.

“For years, the policies under attack have enjoyed bi-partisan support but not any longer. The Democrat Party, which should be working to protect innocent life, has become the party of abortion,” said Tobias.

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