WASHINGTON - Pro-life lawmakers in Washington are introducing legislation that would make it illegal to use taxpayer money to perform abortions.
Their efforts are tied to what critics call "Obamacare," the health care reform law passed last year and which the House voted Wednesday to repeal.
Some call Wednesday's vote in the House the "second act of the great debate." Now, Conservative lawmakers are making their pro-life cause the very first order of business, with the backing of the highest-ranking member of the House.
"Our members feel very strongly about the sanctity of human life," Speaker of the House John Boehner said.
The House pro-life caucus has introduced two bills. The first, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., would bar taxpayer money from being used to pay for abortions, essentially making the recurring Hyde Amendment permanent.
"The ugly truth is that abortionists often get filthy rich by dismembering and decapitating the fragile bodies of unborn children," Smith said.
The second, simply called the Pro-Life Act, deals directly with questions pertaining to last year's health care law.
"I believe that there is abortion funding in the new law, but this will give us the opportunity to say 'no, there will not be abortion funding in there,'" Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., said.
"As for Obamacare, my bill will ensure that no federal money will go to coverage of abortion services," Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn., said.
But Pitts's bill goes a step further. It also has a conscience clause to protect doctors and health care providers who don't want to perform an abortion.
Planned Parenthood said the bill takes health care coverage away from women.
"(The) true intent is to end insurance coverage for virtually all abortions, including private insurance coverage that Americans pay for with their own money," they said.
Pro-life advocates say this is right on course with where America stands on the issue.
"This country is majority pro-life. The young people in this country are majority pro-life," Kristan Hawkins, with Students for Life, said. "So, the majority's on our side, we just need to get the law on our side."