The Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday in favor of an amendment which would permanently bar any public funding for medical training centers that educate doctors on how to perform abortions.
The amendment includes an exception for victims of rape or incest, along with women whose lives may be endangered by giving birth. Those provisions would make no difference, however, because the funding is not offered to carry out abortions.
Democrats had argued that educating doctors in how abortions are performed is crucial to saving lives in the event of pregnancies gone awry.
The amendment would ultimately prohibit teaching a number of basic gynecological procedures that are used not just for abortions. One such procedure is known as dilation and curettage, which is used to help doctors stop bleeding in the uterus or remove tissue after an abortion or miscarriage.
“If organizations want to provide elective abortions or train abortion doctors they need to find someone other than taxpayers to write the checks,” amendment author Rep. Virginia Fox (R-NC) said in a media advisory. “Taxpayers should not be on the hook for subsidizing the abortion industry.”
Taxppayer funding of abortions has been banned for decades under the Hyde Amendment, which is re-approved on a yearly basis. The House earlier this year passed a bill that would make the Hyde Amendment’s prohibition on funding permanent, but it has not cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate.
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