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Homeland Security Spending Bill Clears Panel with Abortion Provision

On May 16, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2013 Homeland Security spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The measure provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Federal Emergency Management Agency, among others.

The bill would provide $39.1 billion in discretionary funds in FY2013. This amount is $484 million below FY2012 and $393 million below President Obama’s FY2013 request. The funding includes $5.5 billion for ICE, which is $76.8 million below FY2012, but $141.6 billion over the president’s request.

During consideration of the bill, the committee adopted, 28-21, an amendment by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) to prevent ICE from paying for abortion services for detainees, except in cases of rape or to protect the life of the mother. The amendment would ban funds from being used to require anyone to perform or facilitate the performance of abortion services, but would allow agency officials to take a detainee outside of a detention facility for such services.

The committee also adopted, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. James Moran (D-VA) to include incest to the list of exceptions for which abortion services may be provided.

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