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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

House Passes Historic Ban on Taxpayer Funding for Abortion

By Kathleen Gilbert
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

The House on Wednesday afternoon voted 251-175 to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

H.R. 3, authored by veteran pro-life leader Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and sporting at least 227 co-sponsors by the time of the vote, makes universal and permanent the Hyde amendment rider to Labor and Health and Human Services appropriations bills.

In its current form, the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion in cases of rape and incest, requires annual approval.

Lawmakers had spent much of the afternoon debating the funding ban, with Democrats calling the measure an overreach and Republicans saying it merely codified existing federal law and corresponded to the will of the people on the topic of publicly-funded abortion.

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