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Legislating for Life, 46 Years After Roe

By Rep. Virginia Foxx

This week marks the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that has forever changed the way our nation values life.  Since that fateful decision, an estimated 60 million infants have been killed in the womb in the United States alone.  This is an unspeakable tragedy and as long as we allow abortion to continue, it degrades the moral character of our country. 

Life is sacred, and the regard with which we hold life defines who we are as a society.  While our unelected judicial system has had an extremely detrimental impact on the value of life in our culture, the pro-life movement has responded resiliently with its determination for change.  The reality is that we are not a pro-abortion country.  In fact, a 2017 Marist poll found nearly six in ten Americans, including over a third who consider it an immediate priority, want to limit abortion.  

Given the significant percentage of Americans who morally oppose abortion, taxpayer money should not be used in any way to provide or subsidize abortions.  Unfortunately, the new Democrat majority in the House of Representatives does not feel this way.  One of its first actions in the 116th Congress was an attempt to repeal the Mexico City Policy which prohibits taxpayer funding of organizations abroad that promote or perform abortions.  It is imperative that pro-lifers take a stand against these attempts to dismantle such critical protections.

That’s why I have introduced two bills that will protect life and ensure that Americans are not forced to subsidize abortions at home or abroad.  The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Act of 2019, unlike the Democrat party, recognizes the majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions in other countries (83% according to the same poll).  This bill codifies the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (formerly known as the Mexico City Policy).  This policy prohibits U.S. foreign health assistance funds from going to organizations that promote or perform abortions.  Life should never be sacrificed in the name of “economic development” and the United States should not be supporting organizations that believe otherwise.

The other bill is the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act.  This bill would codify President Trump’s Protect Life Rule to ensure that entities that perform elective abortions do not subsidize their operations with Title X Family Planning Program funds.  The law already clearly prohibits “programs where abortion is a method of family planning” from receiving Title X funds.  However, previous administrations have willfully misinterpreted the law to fund programs that share the same facility, same staff and same waiting room as abortion providers.  My bill would draw a bright line between programs that receive Title X funds and those that perform elective abortions.

In Congress, I am determined to advance pro-life policies and prevent any backwards steps.  However, politics is often described as downstream from culture.  My hope is that soon a culture of life will prevail in our country and the culture will demand that our laws do more to protect the unborn.  But until that day, I will continue to be an advocate for the cause of life and for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Published in the Winston-Salem Journal.

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