House GOP moves to permanently ban tax-funded abortion in nation’s capital

by Tom Howell Jr.-The Washington Times  |  published on January 9, 2014

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Republicans signaled Thursday that they will try to permanently ban taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia, igniting a furious backlash from city officials who said the move is an effort to change a 40-year understanding between the city and the federal government.

The Republicans’ proposed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would permanently stop the D.C. government from spending its own money, collected from local taxpayers, to pay for abortions. Congress has passed one-year measures but has never enacted a permanent ban.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city’s nonvoting member of Congress, said Thursday that the measure singles out the District unfairly.

“It snatches power — local power, local authority — from the District of Columbia and its people,” Ms. Norton said.

The two D.C. Democrats also said the act would break the principles behind the Home Rule Act of 1973, which granted the city a major degree of autonomy in managing its own affairs.

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