One of the many problems with Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, imagined by committed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, is their commitment to permanently end Hyde Amendment protections so that preborn babies’ lives can be ended on the American taxpayer’s dime.
Even though Hyde protections have been added to the budget and any number of other spending bills for more than 40 years, Democrats have been adamant in leaving them out. When attached to a spending bill, Hyde protections limit taxpayer-funded abortion to cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger, which accounts for about 2% of all abortions, according to Corporate Abortion analysis.
On July 29th House Democrats purposefully removed the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life protections from the Labor, HHS, Education appropriations bill. Now the House is drafting a reconciliation package that will determine the congressional budget, which the New York Times called the “most significant expansion of the nation’s social safety net since the Great Society of the 1960s.” Given House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support for taxpayer-funded abortion, it’s likely that Democrats will strip away pro-life protections once again.
Every Democratic presidential candidate pledged to fight any spending limit on abortion, including President Joe Biden, who seems to have forgotten his own decades-long defense of the Hyde amendment.
On September 13th, Students for Life Action started to mobilize every supporter we have across the nation to contact their Congressional Representatives and urge them to support Hyde Protections. Already the Pro-Life Generation has generated thousands of emails and calls to Capitol Hill. With just a handful of votes determining the fate of Hyde, SFLAction is specifically focusing on Democrats in swing districts, including on the ground events in the districts of U.S. Representatives Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Haley Stevens (MI-04), Conor Lamb (PA-17), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).
The Pro-Life Generation has a clear message for their Representatives: Forcing taxpayers to fund abortion is not only wrong but wildly unpopular, even among a large portion of pro-choice Americans. In fact, 3 out of 4 Americans do not want abortion through all 9 months, for any reason at all, with taxpayer funding. A Students for Life of America’s Institute for Pro-Life Advancement noted that polling of Millennials and Gen Z, those reported as most in favor of abortion, found that 7 of 10 supported limits on abortion, and the majority did not want to pay for an abortion at home or abroad.
The current debate could have been avoided. The budget struggles exist in part because of a lost opportunity when pro-life elected officials were last in control of Congress and the White House. A true remedy to the threat of forced taxpayer funding of abortion is currently known as H.R. 18, The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). The measure would make Hyde protections permanent law, ensuring no federal tax dollars could be used to fund abortion and abortion marketing in the U.S. and around the world.
The budget reconciliation package is currently being crafted. As Democrat lawmakers work, pro-life Americans will continue to call on them to ensure no new funds for abortion will be included. The failure to add Hyde protections to the new measure must be a deal-breaker.
• Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, with more than 1,250 groups on college, university, and high school campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, Explicitly Pro-Life.
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