Washington D.C., Jun 29, 2021 / 11:30 am
The U.S. bishops’ conference on Monday called on Congress to restore prohibitions on federal funding of abortion, as the House considers appropriations bills that could fund abortions both domestically and internationally.
The House Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to mark-up two appropriations bills, for Financial Services and General Government and for the State Department and Foreign Operations, this week. The funding bills currently omit longstanding federal policies that prevent the use of taxpayer funds to pay for elective abortions, including the Helms amendment which bars direct funding of abortions abroad.
The bills come after President Joe Biden, a Catholic, did not include the Hyde amendment in his final budget request to Congress for the 2022 fiscal year. The Hyde Amendment bars federal funding of most elective abortions under Medicaid programs. First passed in 1976, the decades-old policy is not permanent law, however, and must be attached as a rider to budget bills each year in order to take effect.
In a joint statement on Monday, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, and Bishop David Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the bishops’ international justice and peace committee, said that Congress “should not eliminate the long-standing, bipartisan provisions that prevent taxpayer funding of abortions.”