This week, 200 Republicans in Congress pledged to stand in support of the Hyde Amendment — which prevents federal taxpayer funding of abortion through government programs such as Medicaid — as President Joe Biden works with abortion supporters in Congress to end the nearly five-decade-long rider.
“Conservative Republicans are sending a strong statement to congressional leaders: We will not stand idle as radical Democrats work to end the ban on taxpayer-funded abortions,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I pray this show of solidarity will save the Hyde Amendment and save thousands of innocent lives.”
Banks sent a letter Tuesday to congressional leaders that pledged to oppose any legislation that would either eliminate or weaken the Hyde Amendment. That letter describes the push to end the Hyde Amendment as “pro-abortion crusade.”
The Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2.4 million lives from abortion and if it is eliminated, an estimated 60,000 more children will be killed by the abortion industry each year in the United States. While opponents of the amendment have labeled it “racist,” claiming that many Black women depend on Medicaid for health care, supporters say allowing the government to pay for the abortions of underprivileged and minority women will pressure women to abort when they otherwise would not consider it.
“[W]omen are coerced into having abortions by their parents, by their partners, by their employers, and by the abortion industry workers, staff, and doctors,” Christina Bennett, communications director for Family Institute of Connecticut, explained in an interview with Live Action News. “And so when you make abortion free [of cost to the client], you’re adding to that encouragement. You’re encouraging abortion when you make it free because, just in general, that’s a sales tactic, making something free. If something is free you’re going to consider it regardless of what it is. If someone says, ‘Do you want this? It’s free.” You’re going to think, ‘Do I want this?’ So, for women who are already vulnerable, already under pressure to abort, it becomes this enticement.”
The Hyde Amendment preventing taxpayer funding of abortion has long had bipartisan support, with every president since 1976 signing the appropriations bill with the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment. Up until June 2019, Biden also supported the Hyde Amendment until Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups pressured him into changing his position. Within 24 hours, he announced that he no longer supported Hyde.
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