The following comes from a Jan. 4 story on the website of the Catholic News Agency.

In the first day of the new congressional session, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill that includes a provision to repeal a pro-life policy. The bill was one of two appropriations bills passed on Thursday in an attempt to end the partial government shutdown.

The bill, which would resume funding for the federal government, includes language that would repeal the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, which prevents non-governmental organizations from receiving U.S. health assistance funds if they either promote or provide abortions.

Pro-life congressmen and campaigners spoke out against the rider which would overturn the policy.

In a floor speech, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) criticized newly-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for its inclusion in the bill, saying it would “eviscerate” the pro-life protection.

“Madam Speaker, if reopening the government is the goal, if ending the shutdown is the goal, why does this appropriations package contain a brand-new poison pill rider, Section 71, that overturns a major, comprehensive, current-day pro-life policy?” asked Smith.

Smith also accused Pelosi of inconsistency, noting that earlier in the day she had “admonished [the House] to protect God’s creation.”

“These unborn children are God’s creation. They cry out for our protection,” Smith stated.