House GOP Debates Taxpayer Funded Abortions

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Republicans have made pro-life issues a top priority now that they are in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, they conducted their first hearing about placing a permanent ban on taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions.

For more than 30 years, pro-life congressmen have had to fight every year to make sure tax money did not end up paying for abortion.

Cathy Ruse, Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, pointed out President Barack Obama has urged Americans to find common ground on the controversial issue of abortion.

"Americans have come together, 67 percent of us, in what may be the only truly bipartisan agreement possible," Ruse said. "That whatever our differences on the issue of abortion, we can agree that the federal government should not subsidize it."

Click play to watch Paul Strand's report, followed by comments from Penny Nance, CEO of the pro-life group Concerned Women for America.

Democrats insisted cutting such funds hurts women's freedom.

"Congress has for more than three decades used economic coercion to try to prevent women from exercising their constitutionally-protected choice by prohibiting use of federal funds for abortion -- the only legal health care procedure subject to such a ban," said Rep. Gerald Nadler, D-N.Y.

However, one panelist quoted a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

"Abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life," said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "In our view the court's only mistake there was the phrase 'potential life.' In our view, unborn children are actually alive until they are made actually dead by abortion."

"Using taxpayer dollars to fund the killing of innocent unborn children does not liberate their mothers," said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. "It is not the cause that those lying out under the white stones of Arlington National Cemetery died, and it is not good government."

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ohio., said he wants tax money cut off from abortion providers, too.

"Planned Parenthood is far and away the largest abortion provider in America and they are also the largest recipient of federal funding under Title Ten," Pence said. "And I believe the time has come for that to end."

The hearing's chairman conveyed the key issue facing the panel.

"Does abortion take the life of a child?" Franks asked. "If it does not then all of this here today is a non-issue. But if it does, then those of us sitting here in the chambers of freedom are in the midst of the greatest human genocide in the history of humanity."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.