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Capitol Health Call
January 12, 2005

Budget Bill Addresses Abortion

JAMA. 2005;293(2):151. doi:10.1001/jama.293.2.151-a

A provision in the $388 billion spending bill passed by Congress on November 20 protects physicians and hospitals from financial penalties if they choose not to perform abortions. The approval is seen by some in the pro-choice community as an opening shot by Congress to curtail legal abortions.

The Hyde-Weldon amendment prohibits disbursement of funds from the spending bill to states and local governments that would then withhold such funding from physicians and hospitals that opt not to perform abortions. The passage is a boost to the nearly 600 Catholic hospitals that feared reimbursement cuts from the federal government because they choose not to perform abortions at their facilities.