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Wicker: Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a grim decision that haunts our nation to this day. In Roe v. Wade, justices threw out state laws protecting the unborn and declared abortion legal in all 50 states. This decision undercut the legislative process and the will of the American people, paving the way for injustice on a massive scale. In the years since Roe v. Wade, an estimated 62 million unborn lives have been taken.

Pro-life Americans have not been silent amid this tragedy. Every year, scores of citizens gather in state capitals and in Washington to send a defiant but powerful message in defense of life. This year’s March for Life, which was held virtually, came at the outset of a new presidential administration that has already proved hostile to the rights of the unborn. The Biden Administration’s abortion agenda makes it all the more vital for pro-life Americans to continue speaking out.

Tax dollars should never subsidize abortion

President Biden has promised to unify the country, but his recent actions on abortion reveal extreme priorities. In one of his first steps as President, Mr. Biden reversed the Mexico City policy, which had blocked taxpayer dollars from funding nonprofit groups that advocate for abortion overseas. This decision showed disregard for the consciences of millions of pro-life taxpayers who are offended by efforts to fund abortion with their tax dollars.

The President’s decision is clearly out of step with an increasing number of Americans. Last year, a Marist poll revealed six out of 10 Americans oppose tax dollars going toward abortion. Many of these individuals identify as pro-choice, but they agree that fellow citizens who are pro-life should not have to bankroll something they find morally abhorrent. Congress has long echoed this reasonable view. For more than 40 consecutive years, lawmakers have passed the Hyde Amendment in annual spending legislation to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion.

I have called on Congress repeatedly over the years to make the Hyde Amendment permanent. I am doing so once again by introducing my No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion bill, which would ban the use of tax dollars for abortion once and for all. I am also supporting legislation to outlaw abortion of unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain. Beyond that, I am pushing hard for legislation to protect vulnerable infants who survive an abortion attempt. There is no excuse for any lawmaker to oppose such a reasonable and humane protection.

Public opinion is shifting toward life

When Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973, many Americans did not know the full extent of fetal development. But new technology has revealed stunning details inside the womb. Parents are now able to see vivid sonogram images of their pre-born children. Many grandparents, like my wife Gayle and me, have seen the feet, heartbeat, and faces of our young grandchildren waiting to enter the world. More Americans are awakening to the reality that each new life, born and unborn, is precious and worthy of protection.

Twenty-five years ago, 56 percent of Americans identified as pro-choice and 33 percent identified as pro-life. Today, that gap has closed completely, with roughly half of Americans identifying as pro-life. Even more telling is that 81 percent of Americans oppose late-term abortion, and 65 percent oppose abortion in the second trimester. It is clear that Americans want expanded protections for the unborn.

I will continue leading the fight in Congress to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family.

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