NRL News

Don’t Hide the Hyde Amendment

by | Aug 4, 2021

By Dale Bartscher, Executive Director, South Dakota Right to Life

Editor’s note. This opinion piece appeared in the Rapid City Journal.

For 45 years, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle as well as presidents from both parties, have agreed that taxpayers should not fund abortions.

But, under the pro-abortion leadership of the House and the Senate, this has changed. Instead of protecting women and their unborn children, pro-abortion Democrats are more interested in burnishing their credentials with abortion groups and their supporters.

And to do this, many Democratic Party leaders are more than willing to force taxpayers to pay for abortions on demand.

Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) introduced the Hyde Amendment in 1976, not long after the Supreme Court rulings in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that legalized abortion on demand. At that time, federal Medicaid statutes, written before Roe and Doe, made no reference to abortion and the federal program was paying for 300,000 abortions each year—and the number was climbing.

The Hyde Amendment is estimated to have saved over 2.4 million lives— National Right to Life considers it the greatest abortion-reduction measure ever enacted by Congress.

It is time to save Hyde and tell Congress – “Don’t Hide the Hyde Amendment.”

Each year, the Hyde Amendment is added to the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill to prevent taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions. The measure has enjoyed bipartisan support since its introduction in 1976 and has been in effect ever since.

But to be continually in effect, the Hyde Amendment must be added to the appropriations budget every year.

For the first time since 1976, the proposed budget by the majority party has no Hyde Amendment language—a deliberate omission.

Until recently, the Hyde Amendment enjoyed support from both Republican and Democratic presidents. However, in 2019, then-candidate Joe Biden reversed his position on the Amendment and announced that he supported taxpayer-funding of abortion.

In fact, President Biden’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022 omitted the Hyde Amendment and clearly showed that President Biden has endorsed the extremism of pro-abortion groups who would like to see abortion on demand paid for with tax dollars.

Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer want to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and have repeatedly defended the decision to do so. Leading Democrats in both the House and the Senate are determined to fund abortions using taxpayer money. [Ed. Note. The budget, without Hyde protections, was approved by the House of Representatives on July 29.]

What used to be a bipartisan consensus—that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions—has now become part of an overall campaign to see abortion available at anytime, anywhere, and for any reason—and paid for with tax dollars.

The abortion industry is powerful. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, brings in over 1 billion dollars annually. This powerful organization, along with its allies, sees tax dollars as another revenue source and the elimination of Hyde will increase their share of those moneys significantly.

This is a money grab, plain and simple, and Democratic leadership is part of this campaign to pour more money into the abortion industry contrary to the wishes of the American people.

Most Americans oppose using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. In a January 2021 Marist poll, 58 percent said they “oppose using tax dollars to pay for a woman’s abortion,” and a November 2020 McLaughlin poll put the number of those opposed at 64 percent.

But the will of the people doesn’t matter to Democrat leaders when they are fully engaged in a scorched earth campaign against the unborn and wanting to use our tax dollars to pay for it.

South Dakota Right to Life asks you to partner with us in encouraging our Congressional Delegation – Senator Thune, Senator Rounds and Representative Johnson – to stand firm and to stand up in their insistence that the Hyde Amendment be added to this year’s appropriations budget.

In other words – Don’t HIDE the HYDE AMENDMENT.

Categories: Hyde Amendment