House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), along with Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), introduced the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act at a press conference today. It’s nice to see legislation with a name that succinctly describes exactly what it does. I guess calling it the “Bart Stupak Got Rolled Like Dice Act” would have been a little too cheeky.
“A ban on taxpayer funding of abortion is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land,” the Speaker said in his remarks. “But current law – particularly as enforced by this Administration – does not reflect the will of the people.”
No matter one’s personal stand on abortion, there is no way to morally justify the expense of federal funds to support it. There’s no way to run a central government if every action must meet the unanimous approval of the people [pause for applause and Frisbee-tossing by libertarian members of the audience] but compelling taxpayers to finance an activity which a majority disapproves of, and a sizable minority considers deeply abhorrent, is unquestionably tyrannical.
One of the ways a mature republic handles such thorny issues is by decentralizing them. The ability to escape from a program is the most effective political leverage against it. This is why the Constitution wisely allows the states to do many things forbidden to the federal government. Far short of a national prohibition against abortion, a rational devolution of power to the states would allow those who desire taxpayer-funded, unrestricted abortion to live in states that provide it. If the passion of the people against a reviled activity is great enough, few states would be able to maintain such systems. What’s more democratic than that?
We don’t live beneath such a rational government. Instead, abortion is a matter of central power, an acrimonious battle three hundred million Americans must fight without end. Today the Speaker of the House declared that pro-lifers will no longer be required to fund the other side’s war machine. The move will save us billions, and ensure that taxpayers “no longer are coerced into using taxpayer funding to subsidize the killing of an unborn child and the warping of his or her mother,” as Representative Smith put it.
President Obama ostensibly agrees with these sentiments. Want to know the true meaning of “ostensible?” Watch the debate over the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.