The following comes from a December 16 LifeSiteNews article by Dustin Siggins:
The House’s new Speaker has unveiled a $1.67 trillion budget that fully funds Planned Parenthood for the next nine-and-a-half months.
In an e-mail to media outlets, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, praised the bill because it “maintains important pro-life provisions, including the Hyde Amendment, and prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion,” and bans “gene editing.”
However, the Hyde Amendment does not ban all federal funding for abortions, because it allows funding for abortions in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother.
The bill does include two partial victories for pro-life advocates. The first is a seven percent reduction in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that was included over concerns of UNFPA’s involvement in China’s coercive One-Child Policy.
The second was a doubling of Sexual Risk Avoidance funding from $5 million to $10 million. The abstinence advocacy group Ascend praised the inclusion, saying in a statement that “pregnancy-prevention-only programs are not enough for our youth.”
However, March for Life Action Vice President Tom McClusky said in a statement that the bill does not protect conscience rights for churches in California that the state is requiring to fund abortion.
“California churches will continue to be forced to pay for abortions through their own insurance, a violation of federal law,” said McClusky. “With this spending bill, Congress shoulders the responsibility alongside the Obama Administration for this gross violation of our First Amendment rights. Ironically, the text of this bill came out on the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.”