WASHINGTON - A quarter of the Senate signed a letter on Wednesday seeking to keep pro-life and religious freedom protections intact during the drafting of upcoming appropriations bills.
The bills will be for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020, which begins this fall.
The letter, sent to Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby on Wednesday, requested that the appropriations committee decline to advance any bills with language that would weaken or remove pro-life or pro-religious liberty measures out in place by the Trump administration.
Republican Sentor Marco Rubio, who is a member of the committee and a signatory of the letter, told CNA that he was committed to preventing a single dollar of public money being used to support abortion.
“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to end an innocent, unborn life,” Rubio told CNA.
“As a member of the committee, I am committed to retaining long-standing pro-life and religious freedom protections in all funding bills.”
In addition to Rubio, the letter was signed by 24 other Republican senators and cites specifically the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, which blocks funding to organizations that promote abortions; and the updated Title X rule, which prohibits Title X money from going to clinics that perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is set to lose about millions of dollars in federal funding due to this new Title X rule.
“The unborn are the most vulnerable members of our society, yet they are under attack. In 2015 alone, 638,169 unborn children lost their lives to abortion,” reads the letter.
“We must continue to prevent federal funding from supporting the unjust practice of elective abortion.”
Recent polling indicates that most Americans are opposed to the use of taxpayer funding for abortions.
At the March for Life in 2019, President Trump promised to veto any legislation that weakens current law on abortion.
The senators who signed the letter “remain committed to ensuring that no such legislation ever makes it to the President’s desk” and will review the appropriations bill to ensure this is so.
Rubio told CNA that is was vital to oppose “divisive pro-abortion policies” and to “protect the dignity of life.”