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Congressman Predicts Trump Will Sign Permanent Abortion Funding Ban

Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) speaks at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) predicted that President Trump would sign legislation to make “permanent” the Hyde Amendment, which is renewed annually as part of the appropriations process.

Some Democrats in Congress support repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funds from being used for abortion.

“I absolutely don’t agree with their cause to get rid of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment makes sure taxpayer dollars don’t go to fund abortions and the vast majority of Americans agree with that. They work hard for their money, and those tax dollars don’t need to fund abortions,” Hice told PJM during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“We’ve already passed the Hyde Amendment to make it permanent in the House. It’s now sitting in the Senate and I’m confident that the president will sign it when it gets through and that argument will be over,” he added.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is reintroducing the EACH Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment.

“For too long, a woman’s source of insurance or level of income has determined whether she has coverage for abortion care. With the EACH Woman Act, we intend to stop that discrimination,” she wrote in a recent TIME column.

“The EACH Woman Act would end the Hyde amendment and similar policies that have brought pain and punishment to federal employees and their dependents, our brave women in uniform, veterans, Native Americans, Peace Corps volunteers and D.C residents. As the list of those harmed by coverage bans continues to grow, a resistance has emerged to bring an end to this life-threatening policy,” Lee added.

Democratic leaders argue that Planned Parenthood should be able to keep its $521 million in annual federal funding because it also provides healthcare services to women that are not related to abortion. Hice disagreed with that assessment.

“They claim to provide things like prenatal services; it’s been proven absolutely false. They don’t provide prenatal services, they are an abortion industry, that’s why they exist and that’s what they do with their funds. And even recently, Live Action films, in an investigative report, called in the ballpark of 100 clinics and only a handful of them, 5 or less, actually provided prenatal care,” Hice said.

“And they claim to have ultrasounds – they don’t unless you’re getting an abortion. This Planned Parenthood is all about abortions, that’s what they do, and we need to defund them. There are multiple options and alternatives. For every Planned Parenthood clinic, there are about 20 health clinics that provide much more comprehensive care for women and children, and that’s where our focus needs to be,” he added.

Some Democrats have also made the argument that Planned Parenthood’s funding should stay in place because it is a small portion of the overall federal budget.

“Every taxpayer dollar is of value; who do we think we are to waste the taxpayers’ money? So you’ve got to start wherever you can start. Planned Parenthood is a great place to defund – number one, for what they do, but secondly, there are better ways for that $500 million to be spent and health clinics are, in my opinion, one of the first places those funds need to be re-channeled to,” he said.