The White House on Tuesday refused to rule out taxpayer-funded abortion as part of the COVID-19 relief bill, as Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden’s position on the subject is “well-known.”
At issue is a Biden-backed Covid relief package known as the American Rescue Plan that pro-life groups say includes tens of millions of dollars for taxpayer-funded abortion.
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List this month said the bill includes:
- $750 million for global health activities and “billions in funding for community health centers” without explicit application of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer-funded abortion.
- A $50 million funding increase for the Title X program, which Susan B. Anthony says would “once again become a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.”
- Subsidies for COBRA insurance plans that cover abortion.
- Access by Planned Parenthood to small business funding.
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision dating to the 1970s. Biden opposes it. Until he took office, every Democratic and Republican president since then had supported it.
Owen Jensen, a reporter for EWTN Global Catholic Network, asked Psaki if the administration could guarantee that “if the American Rescue Plan is passed that no taxpayer dollars will go to the abortion industry.”
“The president’s view on the Hyde Amendment is well known,” Psaki answered. “... He also believes that community health centers are a key part of addressing the pandemic, of ensuring that people in communities have access to vaccines, have access to treatment and information about making sure they’re healthy and their loved ones are healthy. So that remains a priority to the president.
“He’s shared his view on the Hyde Amendment. I don’t think I have anything new for you,” Psaki answered.
Asked again by Jensen if the administration can “guarantee those tax dollars won’t be used for abortions,” Psaki replied, “As I’ve just noted, three-quarters of the public supports the components of the package, wants to see the pandemic get under control, wants to see people put back to work, vaccines in arms. So I think that answers your question.”
A Marist/Knights of Columbus poll this year found that 58 percent of Americans oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.