Pro-abortion members of the U.S. House of Representatives have taken a first step toward their cherished goal of using Americans’ tax dollars to pay for elective abortions.
On July 12, 2021, the House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services Subcommittee approved a spending bill that will fund the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Unfortunately, the bill did not include the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment is an annual budget amendment that bars the use of Medicaid funds and other federal funds for most abortions. (The amendment allows funding to be used for abortions of pregnancies arising from rape or incest, as well as pregnancies that endanger the life of pregnant mothers.) The amendment—in various forms—has been included in federal spending bills since 1976. It is named for the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), who was its original sponsor.
According to the Human Life Review, the Hyde Amendment is estimated to have saved the lives of 2.4 million unborn babies. If a pregnant mother is a Medicaid recipient, and if that pregnant mother cannot receive insurance coverage for an abortion through Medicaid, that pregnant mother is more likely to choose life for her baby than she would be otherwise. The importance of keeping the Hyde Amendment on the books cannot be overstated.
To make matters worse, this year’s spending bill also omitted the pro-life Weldon Amendment, which makes it unlawful to withhold federal funding from entities that decline to offer abortion services or provide insurance coverage for such services.
While the Hyde Amendment has never been popular with Planned Parenthood and its allies, opposition to the amendment on the left has grown more intense in recent years. After having supported the Hyde Amendment for decades, presidential candidate Joe Biden flip-flopped on the issue in 2019 during his presidential campaign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also oppose it.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who chairs the Labor and Health and Human Services Subcommittee, is a former leader of EMILY’s List, a pro-abortion political action committee; according to Rep. DeLauro, the Hyde Amendment is a “‘discriminatory amendment’” that has “‘disproportionately impacted women of color.’” To the contrary, the Hyde Amendment has saved the lives of countless black and Latino children.
The spending bill approved on July 12 will move on to be considered by the Appropriations Committee, and will later be voted on by the entire House of Representatives. Please write to your member of Congress today, urging him or her to insist on the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment in this spending bill and to vote against the spending bill if the Hyde Amendment is not included.