President Joe Biden released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022 today, and it excludes the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal taxpayer dollars from funding most abortions. Without the Hyde Amendment, taxpayers will be forced to fund abortions and the number of abortions in the United States is likely to increase.
The Hyde Amendment is a pro-life rider that has been included in every federal budget since 1976. It prevents federal taxpayer funds from directly paying for abortions through programs such as Medicaid, and has traditionally received bipartisan support, including from Biden, who once said, “Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.” However, Biden changed his position on Hyde during his 2020 presidential campaign after receiving pushback from pro-abortion groups.
Yesterday, more than 60 pro-life leaders sent a letter to Congress urging them to protect the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life riders. Without Hyde, more preborn children are likely to die from abortion, and American taxpayers will be forced to financially support their deaths.
Live Action president Lila Rose reacted to the news of the exclusion of Hyde in a press release, stating, “The Hyde Amendment has been one of the only truly bipartisan efforts in Congress — supported over the last four decades by Democrats and Republicans alike…. If this budget is passed, President Biden and lawmakers will have blood on their hands as they buck decades of bipartisan policy to fund abortions.” She added, “Despite campaigning as a unifier, and rather than supporting the lives of both women and children, Biden is trashing decades of bipartisan unity to use taxpayer dollars to increase the number of abortions…. Forcing Americans to participate financially in the killing of preborn children is immoral and gravely unjust. We urge all of Congress, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike to reject this budget and any budget that does not include basic life protections.”
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser also issued a statement, noting,”For more than four decades, the Hyde family of pro-life policies has kept American taxpayers out of the abortion business, with the Hyde Amendment itself saving nearly 2.5 million lives. The Biden budget throws that longstanding, bipartisan consensus out the window to fulfill a campaign promise to the radical abortion lobby. Once a supporter of policies that protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers, President Biden today caters to the most extreme voices within his party.” Dannelfelser added, “The majority of Americans remain opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion. We urge our congressional allies to be fearless in fighting to preserve the common-ground Hyde principle and to reject any budget that omits vital pro-life protections.”
A Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll released in January 2021 revealed that 58% of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion within the United States. In fact, the very women who would be eligible for taxpayer-funded abortions through Medicaid are less likely than those with higher incomes to support taxpayer-funded abortions, according to a 2017 Marist poll. Support for Medicaid-funded abortion is nearly twice as high among voters who make more than $75,000 a year than among those who earn $25,000 or less, according to a Harvard poll.
Despite this extreme lack of support for taxpayer-funded abortion, abortion advocates have been pushing for an end to the Hyde Amendment, labeling it as “racist.” When asked to respond to this notion during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in December 2020, pro-life activist Christina Bennett said, “I will never believe that an amendment that has helped save over 2.4 million lives — many of them Black — is racist. I don’t think racists are in the business of trying to preserve Black lives and generations of children that will come after them. It’s absolutely ridiculous to claim that the Hyde Amendment is racist.”
When abortion is subsidized by taxpayers, the number of abortions increases. A survey published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found that women who have taxpayer-funded abortions tend to have more abortions.
When already under pressure to abort and considering the costs of raising a child, being told abortion is free can add to that pressure, according to Bennett. This means abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which boasted $70 million in excess revenue over expenses in its most recent annual report, stand to financially gain from Biden’s proposed budget.
“[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,” Bennett told Live Action News in an interview. “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.”
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