House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has come under heavy criticism for allegedly trying to include federal funding allowances for abortion services in the coronavirus stimulus package.
The proposed bill included up to $1 billion to “pay the claims of laboratories for reimbursement.” House Republicans argue that this would set a precedent of health spending without the protections outlined in the Hyde Amendment, a measure which does not allow clinics or medical centers that perform abortion services to receive federal funds.
“This is sick!” Students for Life of America tweeted. “Democrats in Congress are putting the lives of people below their desire to please their Planned Parenthood donors.”
According to the Daily Caller, a White House official confirmed that Pelosi knew exactly what she was doing when she drafted the bill.
“A new mandatory funding stream that does not have Hyde protections would be unprecedented,” the official said. “Under the guise of protecting people, Speaker Pelosi is working to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent covering abortion—which is not only backwards, but goes against historical norms.”
Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska also slammed Pelosi’s alleged attempt in a statement to National Review: “While schools are closing and hospitals are gearing up, Speaker Pelosi is waging unnecessary culture wars. Speaker Pelosi should be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, not politicizing emergency funding by fighting against the bipartisan Hyde Amendment. We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood.”
Not surprisingly, GOP members demanded a new draft of the bill—one that includes language explicitly prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortion.
Politico reported Thursday that through further negotiations, the provision was removed from the stimulus package but would instead hit the House floor in a separate bill.