Politics
Rep. Hal Rogers | AP Photo Rep. Hal Rogers | AP Photo  

House Approps Chair ‘shocked by the lengths that this administration has gone to undercut the sanctity of life “

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers voiced his strong support for the pro-life agenda and offered some tough words about the Obama administration at the pro-life Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) “Celebrate Life, Embrace Grace” event on Monday.

According to the chairman, the Obama administration has been exceptionally hostile to the interests of the unborn.

“I am shocked by the lengths that this administration has gone to undercut the sanctity of life for the unborn child,” Rogers told the pro-life gathering.

Rogers said that when he became chairman in January 2011, his goal to was put the brakes on the administration’s pro-choice agenda and prevent their plans “to not only loosen the federal restrictions on abortion, but also use federal funds to promote it, disregarding the longstanding Mexico City policy and finding loopholes to channel federal funds for family planning, which I know is a euphemism for abortion.”

The Mexico City policy is the ban instituted by former President Ronald Reagan — and later overturned by President Obama — that prohibits taxpayer money from going toward abortions abroad.

Rogers said that he worked to reinstate the pro-life policies that Democrats had “removed or weakened over the last four years.”

“I am pleased to say that in one calendar year, the Appropriations Committee was able to put back in all of the pro-life riders that we had carried in fiscal [year 2006]. We also beat back the Senate’s attempts to foster abortion services around the world,” he said, adding that the fiscal [year 2012] appropriations bills carry no less than 16 pro-life riders and funding provisions.

Despite the pro-life agenda’s progress, Rogers said there is a lot more to be done.

At the top of his list of priorities is passage of the “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act,” Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming’s amendment to the Public Health Service Act to prohibit government discrimination against institutions, insurance or health care providers that do not offer abortion-related services.

“I also want to curtail this administration’s desire to use foreign aid as a tool for abortion services. To continue to reduce international family planning funds, as we did last year, and to try to force the president to adhere to the Mexico City policy,” Rogers added.

“When pro-life provisions are included in these House Appropriations bills, it is a short cut to put this into law,” he said adding that such bills have to pass each year to fund the government.

Rogers continued that under his leadership, the Appropriations Committee cut discretionary spending for the last two years in a row, which had not happened since the end of World War II.

He pointed out, however, that discretionary spending only accounts for about 1/3 of the federal budget.

“Two-thirds, as you know, are entitlements,” Rogers said, noting that even if all discretionary spending was eliminated, the government would still be in the red because of entitlements.

“Until Congress gets the gumption and the gall to deal with entitlements, we will never even think about balancing the budget,” he warned.

Rogers boasted of a 30-year, 100 percent pro-life record and promised to continue his fight for life.

“This fight will be everyday, every year, and will continue because there are people who will see to that,” Rogers concluded. “Which means you’ve got to keep up your energy, and your involvement and your determination to protect the unprotected.

The gathering of pro-lifers was entertained by Christian musicians Collin Raye and Matt Maher and featured a brief speech by Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., about the importance of traditional values and women taking the lead on pro-life issues.

Republican Reps. Trent Franks from Arizona, Tim Walberg from Michigan, Vicky Hartzler from Missouri, Ann Marie Buerkle from New York, Jim Jordan from Ohio, Joe Pitts from Pennsylvania, Diane Black from Tennessee, Bill Johnson from Ohio, Steven Palazzo from Mississippi, and Tom Price from Georgia, also offered their encouragement and support for the pro-life movement at the event.

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