U.S. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma Prioritizes Protection of the Unborn During Budget Debate, Hyde Amendment preserved on 50-49 vote
Published: August 12th, 2021
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
Washington, D.C. — Senator James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, on Wednesday (August 11) introduced an amendment on the Senator floor which aims “to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for funding of abortions and abortion-related discrimination.”
A press release from his office characterized the budget resolution he pressed to amend as “the Democrats’ partisan budget resolution”.
Lankford’s proposal would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for funding of abortions and abortion-related discrimination. Late Wednesday night, the amendment passed the upper chamber on a 50-49 vote.
Lankford’s amendment, if preserved in subsequent debate and votes in Congress and then signed into law, would ensure that the budget will comply with the long-standing Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal dollars to pay for abortion, and the Weldon amendment, which protects health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion from discrimination.
“We should all be able to agree – no American should be forced to pay for an abortion through taxpayer dollars. Just because a child is inside the womb does not mean they should be treated any differently by law. My amendment restates the long-term agreement that no taxpayer dollars fund an abortion, and no American should be punished for refusing to participate in an abortion. That should not be controversial,” Lankford said.
A 2020 Marist poll found that 60 percent of Americans, including 37 percent of people who identify as pro-choice, oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion.
Earlier this year, Lankford introduced a similar amendment (https://www.lankford.senate.gov/news/press-releases/lankford-daines-stand-for-life-during-partisan-budget-debate) to the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Reconciliation bill to ensure health-related funding was compliant with the Hyde amendment.
The amendment failed and Lankford voted against the reconciliation bill (https://www.lankford.senate.gov/news/press-releases/lankford-expresses-deep-disappointment-in-democrats-move-to-force-americans-to-fund-abortions) in part because it would fund abortion, using taxpayer dollars, for the first time since 1976.
Lankford introduced the Conscience Protection Act of 2021 (https://www.lankford.senate.gov/news/press-releases/lankford-fights-for-conscience-rights-in-questions-to-becerra) to protect health care providers, including health insurance plans from government discrimination if they decline to participate in abortions. Lankford introduced the bill ahead of a hearing to consider President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Senator Lankford pressed Xavier Becerra on how he plans to protect the conscience rights of Americans and ensure faith-based entities receive fair treatment.
Lankford introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (https://www.lankford.senate.gov/news/press-releases/lankford-wicker-lead-45-pro-life-legislators-in-effort-to-end-taxpayer-funded-abortions), which would make the Hyde amendment permanent.
Earlier this year, Lankford reintroduced the bicameral Women’s Public Health and Safety Act (https://www.lankford.senate.gov/news/press-releases/lankford-wicker-lead-45-pro-life-legislators-in-effort-to-end-taxpayer-funded-abortions), which gives states the authority to exclude abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving Medicaid funds.
According to a summary provided in his press release, Lankford’s amendment is supported by March for Life Action, National Right to Life, Family Research Council, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Susan B. Anthony List, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America LAC, Family Policy Alliance and Students for Life Action.