Communications Department

Arizona Senator Kelly Votes for Taxpayer Funding of Abortion and Against Protecting Unborn Children

Aug 11, 2021 | 2021 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

WASHINGTON – Early Wednesday, in a vote of 50-49, the Senate passed the FY2022 budget resolution. The resolution included an amendment offered on the Senate floor by Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) to support the Hyde Amendment which is credited with saving more than 2.4 million lives.

The Lankford Amendment was added in a largely party-line vote of 50-49.

Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) voted against the Lankford Amendment as well as two others showing support for unborn children. Senator Kelly voted against an amendment supporting the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” which would extend general protection to unborn children who are at least 20 weeks beyond fertilization. He also voted against an amendment supporting the “Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act” that would prevent abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

“Senator Kelly’s extremism on abortion is clear,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Senator Kelly and his pro-abortion colleagues are targeting the longstanding popular Hyde Amendment at every turn. The goal is to ensure abortion on demand at any time and for any reason. Taxpayer funding of abortion is a top priority of pro-abortion groups and their allies in the Senate.”

Three pro-life amendments were offered during the process:

*The Lankford Amendment which would prohibit funding for abortion (Hyde) and would provide conscience protections (Weldon).

*The Kennedy Amendment which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks (consistent with the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act). The amendment was rejected in a vote of 48-51. Senator Manchin (D-W. Va.) was the only Democrat to join with Republicans to vote yes.

*The Inhofe Amendment adding language protecting unborn children with Down syndrome from abortion was rejected in a vote of 49-50. Senator Manchin was the only Democrat to join Republicans to vote yes.

“Until this Congress, the Hyde Amendment enjoyed 45 years of bipartisan support,” said Tobias. “The Hyde Amendment was deliberately left out by pro-abortion Democrats.” 

“The Hyde Amendment is widely recognized as having saved over two million American lives since it was first adopted in 1976,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director of National Right to Life. “National Right to Life believes that the Hyde Amendment has proven to be the greatest domestic abortion-reduction measure ever enacted by Congress.”

While the Lankford Amendment is non-binding, the vote shows majority support for the Hyde amendment as the reconciliation package advances. The House of Representatives must agree to the budget resolution before the legislation can move forward.

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.