House Puts Social Issues on the Calendar, Passes Bill Banning Federal Funding for Abortion

Oct. 14, 2011 - Sandwiched between votes on three recent free trade agreements (Colombia, Panama, and South Korea) and delaying EPA regulations on industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers, process heaters, and incinerators (HR 2250), the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed by a margin of 251-172 a bill (HR 358) that would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to modify special rules relating to coverage of abortion services. The Protect Life Act would block federal funding for abortions as well as grant protections to health care workers who have moral objections to performing certain medical procedures.

The measure was supported by the Family Research Council, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, the National Right to Life Committee, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The measure was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Muslims for Progressive Values, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, the National Women's Law Center, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Amongst all House members

  • Abortion policy/Pro-Life interest groups gave on average $1,780 to House members who voted 'YES.' Lawmakers voting against the bill did not receive any contributions connected to Pro-Life interest groups.
  • Abortion policy/Pro-Choice interest groups gave on average 9.7 times as much to House members who voted 'NO' ($2,182) as they gave to House members who voted 'YES' ($225).

House Republicans

  • Pro-Life interest groups gave on average $1,855 to House Republicans who voted 'YES.' House Republicans voting against the bill did not receive any contributions connected to Pro-Life interest groups.
  • Pro-Choice interest groups gave on average 33 times as much to House Republicans who voted 'NO' ($7,775) as they gave to House Republicans who voted 'YES' ($237).

House Democrats

  • Pro-Life interest groups gave on average $588 to House Democrats who voted 'YES.' House Democrats voting against the bill did not receive any contributions connected to Pro-Life interest groups.
  • Pro-Choice interest groups gave on average 45 times as much to House Democrats who voted 'NO' ($2,116) as they gave to House Democrats who voted 'YES' ($47).

All Invested Interest Groups

  • Interest groups supporting this bill (Republican/Conservative, Pro-Life, Christian Conservative) gave on average 78 times as much to House members that voted YES ($24,081) as they gave to House members that voted NO ($310).
  • Interest groups opposing this bill (Democratic/Liberal, Women's issues, Minority/Ethnic Groups, Gay & lesbian rights & issues, Pro-Choice) gave on average 8.6 times as much to House members who voted 'NO' ($25,772) as they gave to House members who voted 'YES' ($2,992).
  • MapLight recorded that the Churches, clergy & religious organizations interest group both supported and opposed the bill.

METHODOLOGY: MapLight analysis of reported campaign contributions to House members in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2010. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.