Congress, Obama, and Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

by John Boehner

For years, Washington has been thumbing its nose at the American people, arrogantly defying their will by spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money in ways they oppose. Now, courtesy of a report by the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) requested by Rep. Pete Olson (R., Texas), the American people have new information about the extent to which this Washington nose-thumbing has included hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for the abortion industry.

The GAO report shows that the federal government provided roughly $1 billion in taxpayer funding between Fiscal Years 2002 and 2009 for organizations that promote abortion as a form of family planning.  Nearly $660 million of this taxpayer funding has gone to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. This is an indefensible expenditure of taxpayer funds.

Sadly, federal support for abortion and the abortion industry is growing under President Obama and a Democratic Congress. Public opposition to taxpayer financing of abortion factored significantly in the intense debate over President Obama’s massive health-care overhaul. And thanks to the disingenuous way in which the White House and the Democratic congressional leadership thwarted enactment of the pro-life Stupak amendment, which would have barred taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare, the issue won’t be going away.

Rather than allowing the anti-abortion Stupak amendment to become law, President Obama issued an executive order purporting to eliminate the need for such an amendment. But as far as anyone can tell, the Obama administration hasn’t lifted a finger to implement the executive order, even as it forges ahead aggressively with implementation of the rest of the massive new law. I asked President Obama about this directly at the White House last week. Since then, however, there has been no communication from the White House about the status of his executive order.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have gone to AmericaSpeakingOut.com to make their voices heard on the issue of federal support for abortion and the abortion industry. I encourage all Americans to use this tool to speak out.

I commend Representative Olson for requesting the GAO study and bringing this information into public view for the American people so they know how Congress is spending their money. I also commend our conference chairman, Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.), for introducing legislation that would prohibit the distribution of Title X family-planning money to entities that use abortion as a method of family planning. I have signed on as a cosponsor of Representative Pence’s bill.

I also believe we need to enact legislation to codify the Hyde amendment — authored by my friend, the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R., Ill.) — which would prohibit all taxpayer funding of abortion across the board. We must also repeal Obamacare and replace it with laws that will lower health-care costs and respect the sanctity of life.

It’s time for Congress to start listening to the people and stop forcing taxpayers to subsidize the destruction of innocent human life through abortion and organizations that promote it.

— John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, is the minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.