On Wednesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 217–212 to fund elective abortions in foreign countries with U.S. tax dollars.
For nearly five decades, regardless of partisan control of Congress, every appropriations bill funding the State Department and foreign aid programs has included the Helms amendment, which prevents international aid from directly paying for elective abortions.
But pro-life Democrats have gone extinct in the House of Representatives. In 2020, House Democrats introduced the “first-ever bill to repeal the Helms Amendment.” All but three Democrats voted to pass the bill killing the Helms amendment on Wednesday night, and the three Democratic “no” votes — Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib — didn’t oppose the bill because it would fund abortion.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi may have endangered the Democratic majority by having her caucus vote for taxpayer-funding in foreign countries. Multiple studies have shown that taxpayer subsidies for abortion increases the number of human lives ended by abortion, and the policy is deeply unpopular.
Last year, a Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus asked Americans if they supported or opposed “using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.” The result: 76 percent of Americans said they oppose using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries, while 21 percent support it.
Appropriations bills are still subject to a 60-vote threshold in the Senate, which means that the Republican minority can (and certainly would) block final passage of any appropriations bill that lacks the Helms or the Hyde amendment, which prevents federal Medicaid funding of elective abortion. Every House Republican present voted against the bill killing the Helms amendment on Wednesday night.
Story continues at: Global Abortion