Anti-Choice Crowd Celebrates as GOP Picks Joe Pitts, Presses for New Restrictions on Abortion

When Michigan Republican Fred Upton was tarred as a “moderate” during his campaign to lead the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, leading anti-choice groups including the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List suggested back in November that they could support Upton if he picks Joe Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee. Pitts, the co-author of the restrictive Stupak-Pitts amendment during the health care reform debate, is one of the most fervently anti-choice members of Congress. Now, Upton won his campaign to lead the committee and selected Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee which not only deals with health care legislation but also sets policy with regards to abortion rights and reproductive health.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called Pitts’s appointment “a major pro-life victory,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told LifeNews that Pitts is committed to passing anti-choice legislation to stop the purported taxpayer funding of abortion.

While the nonpartisan PolitiFact already determined that rightwing claims of taxpayer funding for abortion are false and simply untrue, the facts didn’t stop groups like SBA List, CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action), and the Family Research Council from spreading the badly misleading claim.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” better known as “Stupak on steroids” would impel private insurers to drop abortion coverage by taking away the insurance plans’ tax deductions, make the Hyde Amendment permanent, and prevent “any government department from funding any program that touches on abortion in any way, however notional.” There is already a drive by Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann to pass the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would de-fund reproductive healthcare organizations which provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood, even though such financing does not go to abortion coverage.

During an interview with CNSNews, Bachmann was asked “What should Republicans do to advance protections for the lives of those unborn babies who are being slaughtered in this country?” Bachmann repeats the two baseless and fallacious claims that women in Pennsylvania received taxpayer funding for abortions and that “for the first time in American history under Obamacare, socialized medicine, under President Obama, we have federal funding of abortion.” She also calls for the reinstatement of the global gag rule, which cuts off US funding to international family planning services.