For years, pro-abortion lawmakers have been rallying to overturn the Hyde Amendment. Last year, it looked as if they might finally be successful in doing so. Now, however, it appears that for the time being, those efforts have largely failed.
In October, Senate Democrats submitted a bill to fund the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments which did not include the Hyde Amendment for the first time in decades. Every year since 1976, the Hyde Amendment — a rider barring federal taxpayer dollars from funding most abortions — has been added to every appropriations bill. In 2016, Democratic Party added the repeal of the Hyde Amendment to its official party platform, and the party has advocated for taxpayer-funded abortion ever since.
Senator Patty Murray applauded efforts to eliminate Hyde in a statement after the appropriations bill was submitted without it. “Every single person deserves to make their own decisions about pregnancy and parenting — but right now, the unacceptable reality is that the choices available to you still depend on your income, your zip code, or how you get your health insurance,” she said. “Right now, too many people can’t exercise their right to an abortion because of federal abortion coverage restrictions, or can’t afford the family planning services they need. That’s unfair and unjust — especially for women who have low incomes and people of color.”
Yet ultimately, the appropriations bill unveiled Wednesday included Hyde once again, in what is deemed a bipartisan compromise with Republicans. The abortion industry was not pleased.
“While the spending bill doesn’t provide essential new investments in sexual & reproductive health care… It DOES fail to permanently end the #GlobalGagRule & the Hyde Amendment, which together put the reproductive health care we all deserve out of reach for millions,” Planned Parenthood tweeted in response, adding, “We cannot accept our health and rights being used as a bargaining chip by those who want to control our bodies and our futures.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President of Communications and Research Kristin Ford also released a statement, saying, “Abortion access is under attack from every angle imaginable, and it is more important than ever that we fight back against anti-choice politicians’ efforts to block care and ensure that everybody — no matter where they live or how much money they make — has the freedom to make their own decisions about their families and futures with dignity and respect.”
Despite the importance of saving Hyde, some are claiming pro-abortion lawmakers still found a way to include abortion funding in the spending bill. “This is the most radically pro-abortion administration in history. Biden’s omni will potentially send millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, which the vast majority of Americans oppose,” Rep. Jim Banks told the Daily Wire. “Secretary Becerra is an anti-life radical who supports partial birth abortion. His budget increased by nearly 10%, and he’ll use that money to pursue his anti-life agenda.”
The spending bill includes $575 million for “family planning” internationally, $286 million for Title X — in which Planned Parenthood is again included, $32.5 million for the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund, and $200 million for a “Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund,” which will help promote abortion internationally.
Abortion, of course, is not health care, because true health care does not involve the intentional targeting and killing of innocent human beings. Americans also largely do not support taxpayer-funded abortion, and the Hyde Amendment had strong bipartisan support before 2016. And, most importantly, the Hyde Amendment is estimated to have saved millions of lives — the most important part of the argument to save it.
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