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Public Papers - 1992

Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval the District of Columbia Appropriations Bill


To the House of Representatives:

I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 5517, a bill providing appropriations for fiscal year 1993 for the District of Columbia.

Although I do not object to the funding provided by the bill, its language concerning the use of funds for abortion is unacceptable. I have 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 except when 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 Acts for FY 1989, FY 1990, FY 1991, and FY 1992.

H.R. 5517 would place such a limitation on the use of Federal funds to pay for abortion. However, the bill would permit congressionally appropriated local funds to be used for abortions on demand. As a matter of law, the use of local funds in the District of Columbia must be approved by the Congress and the President through enactment of an appropriations act. Under these circumstances, the failure of H.R. 5517 to prohibit the use of all funds appropriated by the bill to pay for abortions, except in the limited circumstances mentioned above, is unacceptable.

From the outset of my 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. 5517 does not provide such protection. I am therefore returning H.R. 5517 without my approval.

George Bush

The White House,

September 30, 1992.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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