House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for elective abortions:
“No American taxpayer should be forced to pay for abortions. The Hyde Amendment has been the cornerstone of protecting conscience for 40 years and is responsible for saving more than 2 million American lives. Make no mistake: The Hyde Amendment will remain central in our fight for life until the day Roe v. Wade is overturned entirely.”
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 30, 2016
The Hyde Amendment—the appropriations legislation first introduced in 1976 by Rep. Henry Hyde — bars federal funding for elective abortions through Medicaid. The amendment has saved over two million preborn children and celebrated its 40th anniversary on September 30.
The Democratic Party, however, has made repealing the Hyde Amendment a plank in their national platform this year. Prior to enactment of Hyde, the Medicaid program paid for roughly 300,000 abortions annually.
In addition to broad support across the Republican Party for the Hyde Amendment, presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed that he would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law. Republican Congressman Marsha Blackburn also expressed support for Hyde in an op-ed for Fox News:
“We should stand committed as a country to the respect for life inherent in having our government refrain from subsidizing abortion. This includes taking extra care that we do not allow our elected leaders to staff the courts with judges who would undermine our ability to express this basic respect for life through a democratic process we can no longer take for granted.”