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Public Papers - 1989 - November

Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1990


To the House of Representatives:

I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 3610, the ``District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1990.''

On October 27, 1989, I vetoed H.R. 3026, the earlier version of this bill. In my veto message of October 27, I stated my intention to veto any bill that does not contain language that prohibits the use of all congressionally appropriated funds to pay for abortions other than those in which the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term. The limitation I propose is identical to the one included in the District of Columbia Appropriations Act for 1989 (Public Law 100 - 462).

H.R. 3610 would place such a restriction on the use of Federal funds to pay for abortion, but would permit congressionally appropriated local funds to be used for abortions on demand with no restriction whatever. As a matter of law, the use of local funds in the District of Columbia must be approved by the Congress and the President; the Federal Government is thus responsible for decisions as to the use of such local funds. Under these circumstances, the failure of H.R. 3610 to prohibit the use of all taxpayer funds appropriated by the bill to pay for abortion, except in those limited circumstances, is unacceptable.

From the outset of our Administration, I have repeatedly stated my deep personal concern about the tragedy in America of abortion on demand. As a nation, we must protect the unborn. H.R. 3610 does not provide such protection. I am, therefore, compelled to disapprove it.

George Bush

The White House,

November 20, 1989.

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