Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Yellowhammer News: Roby introduces amendment to block taxpayer funded abortions in D.C. — 'Helps guard the innocent'

June 13, 2019
Representative Roby In The News

Representative Martha Roby (AL-02) continues to make her staunch pro-life bonafides well known across the nation.

During a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee this week, Roby offered a pro-life amendment to a Fiscal Year 2020 funding bill during markup that would prevent taxpayer funds from being spent on abortion in Washington, D.C.

Known as the Dornan Amendment, the policy introduced by Roby has been in place in some form since 1979. However, some members of Congress over the years have partially nullified the policy by insisting it should only govern federal funds and claiming that all locally-collected revenues, such as taxes and fines, are local and not federal.

Since the District of Columbia is a federal territory and is uniquely controlled by Congress, all locally-collected funds in D.C. go to the U.S. Treasury. Those funds must then be appropriated by Congress as laid out in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

“Calling some federally-appropriated money ‘local’ and therefore eligible to be spent on abortion and some ‘federal’ and not eligible for abortion is just an accounting gimmick to allow the District of Columbia to disregard Congress’ authority and fund abortions, which the District currently permits during all nine months of pregnancy for any reason,” Roby said in a statement.

“Because of the authority given to Congress by the Constitution, pro-life members are necessarily involved and would be complicit if we allowed the District to fund abortions using ‘local’ funds,” she continued. “I can’t begin to express my concern with these policies and laws surrounding taxpayer dollars being used for the destruction of human life. My amendment upholds the basic duties of government and helps guard the innocent.”

This comes as prominent Democrats around the country, including leading presidential candidates, are coming out against the Hyde Amendment, which is the longstanding policy that prohibits federal funds from being spent on abortions, with certain exceptions.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has performed a complete flip-flop in the matter of days, going from supporting the Hyde Amendment his entire career to now being against it in a primary field that continues to lurch further and further to the left.

Biden is being supported by Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in his presidential bid. Alabama’s junior senator has become known as a loyal supporter of abortion in the Senate.

The full text of Roby’s Tuesday committee remarks as prepared as follows

Madam Chair, my amendment prevents taxpayer funds from being spent on abortion with the same exceptions as the Hyde Amendment.

The Dornan Amendment has been in place in some form since 1979. Over the years, opposing members have nullified it by insisting the ban should only govern “federal” funds and then claiming that all locally-collected revenues, such as taxes and fines, are “local” and not “federal.”

Due to D.C.’s status as a federal territory, like a federal agency or department which might collect money in the form of sales and fines, all the District’s funds go to the U.S. Treasury, whether collected locally, contributed by the federal government, or from other sources. Those funds must then be appropriated by the normal federal appropriations process, as stipulated in the first article of the Constitution.

Therefore, calling some federally-appropriated money “local” and eligible to be spent on abortion and some “federal” and not eligible for abortion is just an accounting gimmick and would allow the District to disregard Congress’s authority and fund abortion, which D.C. permits in all nine months for any reason.

Because of the authority given to Congress by the Constitution, pro-life members are necessarily involved and would be complicit if they allowed D.C. to fund abortion using “local” funds or by turning over all budgetary control to the District.

Again, I can’t begin to express my concern with these policies and laws surrounding taxpayer dollars being used for the destruction of human life.

Our nation was founded on the belief that every human being has rights, dignity, and value. Each and every child should be welcomed into life and protected by the law.

My amendment upholds the basic duties of government and helps guard the innocent. I ask that you support this amendment.