by Tabitha Walter, Eagle Forum’s Executive Director in Washington, D.C.
Feminism has brainwashed young women to think that life is a simple “choice.” Young girls are bombarded with Hollywood’s glamorization of abortion, but Eagle Forum is committed to changing their hearts and minds for their own sake — and for life eternal.
President Donald Trump is actively pursuing his pro-life agenda with executive orders. Now, it is Congress’s turn to codify these policies and save the unborn.
On his first day in office, President Trump signed an Executive Order reinstating the Mexico City Policy that was first implemented by President Ronald Reagan, but was redacted by the Democrat presidents who followed him. This policy prevents international organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas from receiving federal money.
A Marist poll published on the same day showed a whopping 83 percent of Americans oppose federal funding of abortions abroad. The poll also showed that 61 percent of Americans also oppose taxpayer funded abortions within the United States.
Nonetheless, our tax dollars are surreptitiously paying for abortions. Tax-exempt municipal, county, and state bonds are being used to circumvent the people’s will. These “abortion bonds” subsidize abortion facilities to upgrade their infrastructures. In 2012, for example, the New York City Industrial Development Agency issued a tax-free municipal bond for $15 million to renovate Planned Parenthood’s national headquarters. Just three years later, Planned Parenthood sold the facility for $69.6 million, which was nearly double its purchase price in 2011.
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) introduced legislation this year to end this practice of federal tax-exempt abortion bonds. The No Abortion Bonds Act (H.R. 4131) is a critical piece of legislation that will close these loopholes in the tax code. So far, the bill has 87 co-sponsors, including one Democrat.
The greatest pro-life victory of 2017 was the re-implementation of the Hyde Amendment. Since 1976, it has protected taxpayers with deeply held pro-life beliefs by prohibiting taxpayer money from funding abortions, a provision upheld by the Supreme Court on the basis that abortion is not consistent with other medical procedures since the main purpose is to terminate a life. Even so, pro-life groups must engage in a seemingly never-ending fight for this language in multiple pieces of legislation dealing with our taxpayer money.
Eagle Forum is already preparing for a number of pro-life battles in 2018. With a Republican majority in the House, Senate, and White House, pro-life legislation should be easier, but Congress needs to be motivated and held accountable more than ever.
The House triumphantly passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36/S. 1922) last October. This bill bans abortion after 20 weeks of gestation when a baby can feel pain. Medical professionals have shown evidence that a 20-week-old baby has a fully functional nervous system and will recoil when he/she feels pain. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is the sponsor of the Senate version, but it has yet to reach the floor for a vote.
Another bill, the Conscience Protection Act (H.R. 644/S. 301) would allow medical professionals and institutions to refuse to perform abortions, and give them a legal course of action if discriminated against based on their decision — thus codifying the Hyde Amendment. Institutions in California, New York, Washington, Alaska, Illinois, and Oregon have been mandated to cover elective abortions, and medical professionals were forced to perform them.
The Conscience Protection language also helps fight the Washington, D.C. Reproductive Non-Discrimination Act. Passed in 2014, the D.C. RHNDA penalizes businesses and organizations for refusing to employ individuals who support abortion, including religious institutions and pro-life organizations. Rep. Gary Palmer, (R-AL), offered an amendment to the 2018 budget to counter RHNDA. Since Congress controls Washington, D.C.’s budget, Rep. Palmer’s amendment was adopted to stop taxpayer money from funding abortion.
President Trump tackled conscience protections by announcing broad exemptions to the Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate. The mandate was an example of an egregious overreach of the federal government implemented by ObamaCare. This policy change allows for institutions with deeply held religious or moral beliefs to refuse coverage of contraception. His policy only remedies part of the problem, though, as those who choose not to participate in abortion procedures or activities are not protected.
Planned Parenthood is the evil force behind the majority of these fights, spurring on a culture of death through the federal government. They have finessed their founder Margaret Sanger’s genocidal intents by warping her racism into feminist empowerment. Yet, Congress has still not defunded the organization. Attempts have been made to shift that money to community health centers which outnumber abortion facilities 20 to 1. Another attempt was made in the Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare repeal and replace package. All of these efforts have failed solely because of squishy Republicans.
Your Eagle Forum is working hard to protect life, and you can count on us to faithfully continue to work to save every life — from conception until God calls us home. The pro-life movement is strong with women and men of all ages. The annual March for Life draws thousands of people from across the nation to march in the streets of Washington, D.C. for this most worthy cause of life. We passionately remember the missing generations and the women who are making these life and death decisions.