Senate and House Republicans are urging Democrat Vincent Gray, the mayor of the District of Columbia, to “immediately” and “faithfully” implement the Hyde amendment in Washington.
In a letter to the mayor obtained by National Review Online, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) and others press Gray to ensure that “no further taxpayer funds are expended for elective abortion.”
The lawmakers also ask Gray to provide Congress with “detailed information about abortion funding in the District during the period in which the D.C. Hyde amendment was not in place.” The mayor, they add, should respond “no later than May 6, 2011.”
Here is part of the text:
With reinstatement of the D.C. Hyde amendment public funding for the destruction of innocent human life will no longer be permitted in D.C. However, history has shown that the District has not always complied with this policy when it has been in place in the past. When this policy was reinstated in FY96, the District continued to fund abortions in violation of the law until the violation was uncovered in FY98. We do not anticipate that this situation will occur again, but in light of this history, we ask that you provide detailed information outlining what steps you are taking to ensure that no more public funds are used to pay for elective abortion in D.C.
We are also disappointed that repeated requests for information about public funding for abortion in the District of Columbia (D.C.) have been ignored by the D.C. government including your administration. Multiple letters (attached) by Members of Congress have been sent asking whether the city had begun funding elective abortion and requesting information about abortion funding activities. While these questions have gone unanswered, your Director of the Department of Health Care Finance Wayne Turnage was “kind enough to offer a detailed answer” to a Washington Post blogger. According to Turnage, the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance has paid for “117 elective abortions totaling about $62,000.” We again ask for a prompt reply to all of the questions posed in the attached letters and request that your answers include information regarding the entire time period during which the D.C. Hyde amendment was not in effect.
GOP senators DeMint, Inhofe, Enzi, Ensign, Coburn, Wicker, Blunt, and Vitter, along with numerous pro-life House members, signed the letter.