Saturday, September 16, 2017

Federal Pro-Life Funding Policies, Fiscal Year 2018

This week the House approved H.R. 3354, Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018. The consolidated appropriations bill includes all 12 appropriations bills.

H.R. 3354 contained several new pro-life policies and funding level changes. Most of these provisions were included in the chairmen’s base bills or added during committee consideration. The Palmer Amendment (Division D) was added during floor consideration.

Division D (Financial Services)
  • Harris Multi-State Plan Abortion Funding Ban — This provision would eliminate elective abortion coverage from the Multi-State Plan Program, created by Obamacare.
  • Harris Amendment to Repeal DC Legalization of Physician Assisted Suicide — This provision nullifies the 2016 DC law that authorizes a DC adult resident who has been diagnosed as terminally ill to request and receive a prescription for lethal medication.
  • Palmer Amendment to prevent implementation of the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA) — RHNDA is a 2014 DC law that prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals based on “reproductive health decisions,” including the decision to have an abortion. RHNDA could be used to force religious or pro-life advocacy groups to make personnel decisions that are inconsistent with their sincerely held beliefs about the sanctity of human life. The Palmer Amendment was adopted on the House floor today by a vote of 214-194. 212 Republicans and 2 Democrats (Lipinski, Peterson) voted for the Palmer amendment, 183 Democrats and 11 Republicans (Coffman, Costello, Curbelo, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Katko, McSally, Meehan, Poliquin, Reed, Stefanik) voted against, and 25 Members did not vote.