The US House of Representatives passed a Homeland Security spending bill yesterday that includes an anti-abortion rider. Under the provision of the bill, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be prohibited from providing abortion services to illegal immigrant detainees. The bill was approved by the GOP controlled House on a straight party-line vote, 234-182. According to the Associated Press, the bill has little chance of being passed in the Senate.
A spokeswoman from ICE told reporters that the policy of the department has always been that agency funds are only used for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother and ICE abides by the Justice Department’s rule for the Bureau of Prisons. As a result, the rider has been criticized as politically motivated.
Rep. David Price (D-NC), ranking member of the House appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, spoke out against the rider, saying on the House floor, “They seem designed mostly for political effect, but I tell you, political effect cuts both ways. These abortion riders, while unnecessary, are inflammatory. They’re divisive. They should not be included in the final bill. Until now, our bill has never touched on the issue of abortion.”
Associated Press 6/8/12; The Hill 6/6/12