House Appropriations Committee Votes to Preserve Taxpayer Funding of Abortions in DC

NARAL praises Catholic congressman for leading the effort. 13 Catholic representatives reject Bishops' request.
by Lisa Correnti | Source:

This week the House Appropriations committee voted 26-33 against reinstating the Dornan amendment to the Financial Appropriations bill which budgets funding for the District of Columbia. The Tiahrt-Davis amendment was offered to reverse the Dornan amendment repeal by the subcommittee at President Obama's request. The Dornan amendment has prohibited the public funding of abortion for 18 years.

In an email to supporters, Nancy Keenan, President of abortion rights group NARAL, praised Catholic Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) for leading the effort to oppose the pro-life amendment, "We cleared an important hurdle, thanks to the leadership of subcommittee chairman Rep. Jose Serrano and our pro-choice allies on the House Appropriations Committee," Keenan said.

Rep. Serrano was not the only Catholic representative to oppose the pro-life amendment, 12 others followed his leadership. These thirteen Catholic representatives together have accepted over $750,000.00 in campaign donations from abortion rights groups.

The Catholic Representatives voting against the Tiahrt-Davis amendment are Ed Pastor (D-AZ), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Salazar (D-CO), Pete Visclosky (D-IN), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Ciro Rodriquez (D-TX), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Jim Moran (D-VA), and chairman Dave Obey (D-NY).

This anti-life vote by these Catholic representatives was a blatant rejection to a request made by the bishops to oppose the public funding of abortion in the District of Columbia. Cardinal Rigali, Chairman of Pro-life Activities for the United States Catholic Conference sent a letter to the full House Appropriations Committee asking that they reverse the subcommittee's action nullifying the Dornan amendment.

"No lawmaker or Administration can support such a policy change and still claim to support 'reducing abortions.' The evidence is overwhelming, and universally recognized by groups on all sides of the abortion issue, that the availability of public funds for abortion greatly increases abortions," wrote Cardinal Rigali.

In 2005 as reported by the Guttmacher Institute (GI), DC led the nation with 37% of pregnancies ending in abortion. GI also reported that abortions are significantly reduced -- by 30%, when federal funding is not available.

To make things worse, the District of Columbia does not have a parental notification law. Teen girls may acquire an abortion without parental notification. Teen abortions account for 40% of abortions in the District of Columbia currently.

The bill goes to the full House next week. It is up to the discretion of the Rules Committee to allow Congressmen Tiahrt and Davis to re-introduce their amendment on the House floor.

The Rules Committee is chaired by pro-abortion rights Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York and consists of a majority of pro-abortion Democrats.

Please contact members of the Rules Committee and ask that the they allow the Tiahart-Davis amendment to be offered for a vote on the House floor. Go here for a list of committee members.

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