New coronavirus relief bill could fund abortions

shutterstock 1692755728 US Capitol building. | Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock

As the House on Friday prepares to vote on another coronavirus relief package, pro-lifers warn that it could be used to fund abortions.

The $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800) is scheduled for a vote in the House on Friday.

It provides funding for state and local governments, assistance to hospitals, and direct payments to American families along with funding unemployment insurance. It also sets up a strategic plan for testing for the virus.

However, the White House has already said it will veto the legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declared it dead on arrival in the chamber, saying that "I don't think we have felt yet the urgency of acting immediately.'"

Senators have already said that a bill would not pass the chamber before Memorial Day, according to The Hill.

"He [McConnell] wants us to just 'pause.'  He wants us to just pause.  But families know that hunger doesn't take a pause, not having a job doesn't take a pause, not being able to pay the rent doesn't take a pause," Pelosi said on Thursday.  

Pro-life leaders have already pointed out that the stimulus bill fails to put Hyde protections in critical spots-thus allowing for taxpayer funding of abortions. The Hyde Amendment bars federal funding of elective abortions.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said on Thursday that the legislation "is full of giveaways to the abortion lobby."

"Shame on the Pelosi Democrats for exploiting a national emergency to foist a radical abortion agenda on the American people," Dannenfelser said.

"Not only does the bill fund abortion and health plans that cover abortion, it includes subsidies to the abortion industry," she stated.

In the CARES Act, the first stimulus bill that passed Congress in March, Planned Parenthood was left out of emergency small business loans because of a 500-employee limit for non-profits to be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The current bill amends the regulations to allow for Planned Parenthood to access PPP loans.

Hyde protections are not included in the legislation's funding of state and local governments, and are not attached to subsidies for COBRA premiums or other coverage for furloughed workers that could include abortion coverage.

Republicans have also criticized the bill for possibly sending direct stimulus checks to undocumented immigrants, mandating blanket release of prison inmates while putting the burden of justifying their continued detention on governments, and freezing any further work requirements for food stamps.

"We urge Congress to continue to put partisan agendas aside and remember that the real heroes across America are working and making sacrifices to save lives, including the lives of the unborn," Dannenfelser said.

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