To commemorate the annual March for Life demonstration in Washington this month, Senate Republicans tried to pass the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” but ultimately fell short of the 60 votes needed and were unable to approve a permanent ban on federal funding of abortion.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), said that it was, “well past time Congress passed a comprehensive solution to the patchwork of regulations prohibiting federal funding for abortion services.”
There is already a ban on federal funding for abortion services that has been part of appropriations bills for decades. The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” would have made that ban permanent. Perhaps more importantly, it would have sent a loud and clear message to supporters of abortion as the March for Life convened in Washington that the procedure is cruel.
The measure, however, did not pass. It was the first Senate vote on an anti-abortion measure in the 116th Congress.
Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), voted against the measure. It was ultimately defeated 48-47. With public support for legal abortion at an all-time high of 58%, the Republican Party may not be as steadfastly pro-life as it once was.