Are My Tax Dollars Paying for Abortion?
Federal, state and local funds can be used to either pay directly for abortions, or to subsidize abortions through supporting abortion providers, or by subsidizing health insurance plans. Tax-funding of abortion dramatically increases the amount of abortions. Below are some commonly-asked questions.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled consistently that there is no right to financial assistance in obtaining an abortion. Furthermore, governments can choose to fund or promote pregnancy/childbirth without having to equally fund abortions.
Since 1977, an annual budget rider called the Hyde Amendment has been signed into law prohibiting federal payments through Medicaid for most abortions. Exceptions include ending pregnancies when the mother’s life is in danger, and since 1993 abortions in the case of rape, or incest. Other health programs (military care, Veterans Administration, Indian Health Service, etc.) that provide direct care are usually restricted from providing abortions services. The 2021 pandemic relief bill notably didn’t include the Hyde Amendment.
Many international organizations support abortion as a means for population control overseas. Ronald Reagan first addressed the issue of funding these groups by announcing a new policy while at a summit in Mexico City. This “Mexico City Policy” withdrew federal funding through our USAID program for organizations that provide abortions or promote the legalization of abortion in other countries. This policy is implemented through an executive order, depending on the views of each new president. President Reagan, both Presidents Bush, and President Trump implemented the Mexico City Policy. Presidents Clinton, Obama, and Biden suspended it.
Every state has the option to use their own funds to supplement Medicaid coverage for abortions, or to restrict it. There are 16 states required by state law or court order to pay for essentially all abortions for Medicaid recipients. Michigan once paid for half of all abortions in the state when our Medicaid program covered abortions on-demand. In 1988, 57 percent of Michigan voters affirmed a ban on Medicaid-funded abortions, dropping the number of abortions by 25 percent within two years.
Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million dollars in taxpayer funding every year. Much of their taxpayer money comes through Medicaid, which is jointly funded by federal and state taxpayers. Currently 16 states add their own state taxpayer dollars to pay directly for abortions. They also receive many taxpayer dollars through the Title X family planning program. There is zero meaningful separation of staff, facilities, and operational costs at Planned Parenthood clinics between government-funded services and abortions. Federal contract rules allow taxpayer funds to pay staff salaries, supplies, and facility costs on a “pro-rated” basis. It is merely an accounting gimmick; tax dollars literally pay the rent and energy costs to keep abortion clinics running and funds staff that help perform abortions. Planned Parenthood claims abortion is inseparable from their mission, and with half of their budget coming from taxpayers, it’s safe to say our tax dollars are inseparable from their abortion mission. Their annual reports show Planned Parenthood’s dramatic increase in taxpayer funding has led them to expand abortion while cutting clients and other health services.
Some individuals receiving government subsidies to buy health insurance use those taxpayer dollars to purchase abortion coverage. There was an abortion surcharge in place as an accounting gimmick to separate tax dollars from private dollars, but it doesn’t change the fact that taxpayer-subsidized plans are paying for abortions. President Trump updated federal rules in 2019 to make abortion coverage a separate bill. Because of Obamacare the only health insurance plans available in some states are ones that cover abortion (Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont), forcing prolife citizens there to either purchase abortion coverage or violate the federal insurance mandate. Obamacare did give states the option to exclude abortion coverage as a “built-in” benefit in health exchange plans. As of 2020 there are 26 states that have opted out, including Michigan. Citizens of these states are still forced to fund insurance plans that cover elective abortion in the states that haven’t opted out.
Many do, at all levels of government. In addition to direct employees of government in administrative positions there are public hospitals, schools, colleges and universities that receive large amounts of tax funding and have abortion coverage in their employee health plans.