Washington D.C., Feb 27, 2021 / 08:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
The House passed a massive COVID relief bill early on Saturday morning, without protections against abortion funding.
After debating the bill on Friday evening and voting on early Saturday morning, the House passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan of 2021 by a largely party-line vote of 219 to 212. The bill funds vaccines, testing and tracing, and provides economic relief including stimulus checks to American families.
It does not, however, include prohibitions on funding of abortions, something that pro-life groups—including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)—have warned would increase abortion funding.
The Hyde Amendment, enacted into law each year as part of appropriations bills, prohibits funding of elective abortions. “Hyde” language was included in the COVID relief bill that passed Congress last year, the CARES Act, and the bill also included provisions blocking Planned Parenthood affiliates from accessing emergency loans. Planned Parenthood affiliates were still able to apply for, and receive, around $80 million in emergency loans from the CARES Act.
However, the current package includes neither of those pro-life protections. Pro-life groups have warned that global health funding, health insurance subsidies, and funding of the Title X program could go to elective abortions, abortion coverage, and pro-abortion groups.