Republicans revive bill to allow states to opt out of tax-funded abortions

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Republican lawmakers have reintroduced bicameral legislation that would give states the option to exclude abortion providers from receiving taxpayer-funded Medicaid reimbursements. 

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who co-sponsored the bill introduced by Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), announced the revival of the 2021 Women’s Public Health and Safety Act in a press release.

“Abortion is not health care,” Lankford said. “It should not be controversial to say that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to support abortion providers.

The announcement included a link to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that Planned Parenthood raked in nearly $1.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements in the previous three years, which Lankford noted accounted for 81% of federal tax dollars received by the nation’s leading abortion provider.

The Oklahoma senator chairs the Senate Values Action team and is a member of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus.

Rep. Cloud stressed that the bill would allow each individual state to choose whether to opt in or opt out of Medicaid funding of abortions. 

The Texas Republican also stated that 60% of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, likely referring to a January 2023 Knights of Columbus/Marist poll showing that six in 10 Americans “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the use of “tax dollars to pay for a woman’s abortion.” 

“For too long, abortion providers have operated on the taxpayer’s dime, while performing elective abortions in the name of ‘healthcare,’” the Texas congressman said

Cloud also made note of the fact that “abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, have access to billions in state Medicaid dollars — which the taxpayer reimburses at 90 percent for family planning services.”

The aim of the legislation, he said, is “to empower states to end federal subsidies for abortion providers and to ensure quality healthcare is made available to women.”  

The bill is supported by pro-life groups, including March for Life, National Right to Life, Family Research Council, and several others. A full list can be viewed here, along with a list of the names of the bill’s co-sponsors.

The Epoch Times noted in its reporting on the revived legislation that Planned Parenthood has fought vigorously to end the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortions.

“This amendment most harms people who, due to this country’s legacy of systemic racism and bias, have relied most on Medicaid — including black, Latino, and LGBT people,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a July 28, 2022 statement.