Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby Speaks Out on Pro-Life Provisions in Funding Bill

September 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) today spoke in support of strong pro-life provisions included in a comprehensive funding bill and said the legislation marks real progress for the pro-life movement.

H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Act, combines eight different funding bills passed by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill.

Roby and her pro-life colleagues secured legislative provisions restricting taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion providers and research using the tissue of aborted babies.

H.R. 3354 is scheduled to be voted on by the full House later this week.

The full text of Rep. Roby’s remarks as prepared is below.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m proud to support the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, and I encourage my colleagues to support this rule.

As a pro-life conservative, I have long fought to make sure taxpayer dollars aren’t being used to fund abortions or to fund abortion providers.

Whether it is in the Appropriations Committee or here on the House Floor, I have repeatedly made the case for increasing protections for life under the law. Those fights haven’t always been easy, and we haven’t won every time.

But, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the appropriations bill before us does contain important pro-life provisions.

First – the bill states, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to conduct or support research using human fetal tissue if such tissue is obtained pursuant to an induced abortion.”

We all remember the 2015 scandal that revealed how Planned Parenthood officials were systematically altering abortion procedures in order to preserve fetal organs and sell them to researchers.

I said at the time that you don’t have to be staunchly pro-life like me to be appalled by the thought of harvesting and trafficking aborted babies’ body parts for profit.

Our bill will prevent these atrocities by removing any incentive abortion providers might have to harvest and sell babies’ organs. Instead, the bill directs agencies to fund research using modern, more efficient alternatives to human fetal tissue.

To be clear, I am a strong supporter of the National Institutes of Health. Their research is critical for the development of lifesaving medical breakthroughs. However, I believe we must set a clear line of distinction between what is acceptable and what is not.

Second – the bill expressly prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from steering Title Ten public health funding to abortion providers.

Of course, the Hyde Amendment has long made it against the law to actually pay for abortions with taxpayer dollars. But the Obama Administration had a bad habit of pushing hundreds of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood in the form of grants and reimbursements for other services. This amounts to a pipeline of funding propping up the nation’s largest abortion provider. It’s an abuse of taxpayer money, and I’m pleased that this bill cuts it off.

I appreciate my Chairman Tom Cole for including these important pro-life provisions in our base bill for the first time. It represents real progress for the pro-life movement, and I will continue to fight to see it through the process.

Mr. Speaker, I am unapologetically pro-life. I believe that every human life is precious, and our laws and policies should reflect that.

Thank you and I yield back.