This week, the House Committee on Appropriations will mark-up the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) and State, Foreign Operations (SFOPs) appropriations bills which currently exclude longstanding bipartisan policies that prevent taxpayer dollars from being spent on elective abortions. Three decades-old provisions, which were eliminated from these appropriations bills, prevent taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions in the District of Columbia, through foreign assistance and for federal employee health plans that cover abortions.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee of Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

“The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations should not eliminate the long-standing, bipartisan provisions that prevent taxpayer funding of abortions. The FSGG bill that currently excludes the Dornan and Smith Amendments would force taxpayers to fund abortions in the District of Columbia and within the Federal Employees Health Benefit program. Deletion of the Helms Amendment in the SFOPs bill would force taxpayers to fund abortions throughout the world, running contrary to principles of integral human development. The Appropriations Committee must re-insert these provisions, and retain all life-saving, Hyde-related provisions across the various appropriations bills.

“The prohibition on taxpayer funding of elective abortion is a consensus policy that is supported by a majority of Americans – including low-income women, and women of color. I call on the Appropriations Committee and all members of Congress to protect taxpayers from having to pay for the evil of abortion, and to instead use our tax dollars for the common good and welfare of all.”