House GOP leaders told antiabortion protesters Monday they would continue efforts to ensure no federal funds are spent on the procedure, singling out Democratic lawmakers who have joined their efforts.
“We are heeding the voice of the people, who overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said in opening remarks at the 39th annual March for Life in Washington. “With your help, this bipartisan majority is standing up for life and working to restore the damage of Roe v. Wade.”
Already, the federal government blocks direct funding of abortions through Medicaid and other federal programs through the so-called Hyde Amendment, which faces periodic renewal.
The GOP-led House has approved legislation that makes the law permanent, but opponents have portrayed such measures as extreme. The law provides exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape or incest or that endanger the life of the woman.
The House proposals have found little traction in the Senate, where Democrats have the majority. Healthcare advocacy groups have fought efforts to cut family planning funds, which also provide reproductive healthcare to men and women nationwide.
“We come today to stand together and voice our belief that innocent life is precious, and the taking of life morally wrong,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) “Our dollars should never be used to take life. It is time to protect conscience rights for those who oppose abortion.”
Protesters converged under chilly gray skies for the annual march on the National Mall, which coincides with the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision that legalized abortion.