H.R. 2740 includes several provisions that roll back current pro-life policies. H.R. 2740 would block implementation and enforcement of the recent rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. That rule would enforce approximately 25 existing longstanding statutory civil rights provisions that protect health care providers from suffering discrimination if they do not participate in abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.
H.R. 2740 would block the Administration’s final rule related to prolife changes to the Title X family planning program. Under the rule, abortion facilities may not be in the same location where family planning services are delivered. The rule also states that Title X grantees may not refer for elective abortion. The rule does not cut one dime of funding for family planning, but ensures that funding goes to health facilities that do not perform or promote abortion as family planning. Under the Obama Administration policy (which H.R. 2740 would restore), Title X consistently funded family planning through organizations that promoted and provided abortions.
H.R. 2740 contains language that would effectively overturn the current pro-life Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program, and further, it would create a statutory prohibition against a future Administration ever issuing a similar pro-life policy again. This vital pro-life policy, sometimes referred to as the Mexico City Policy, was originally adopted by President Reagan and announced at a 1984 population conference in Mexico City. The policy was reinstated by President’s Bush in 2001, and restored and expanded under President Trump in 2017. Under the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program, in order to be eligible for U.S. “population assistance,” a private organization must sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest), lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.” National Right to Life Committee opposed passage of H.R. 2740, which passed the House, 226-203, on June 20, 2019 (House Roll Call No. 367). 226 Democrats voted in favor of the bill. 7 Democrats and 196 Republicans voted against the bill.