From National Right to Life
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, House Democrats blocked a vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 18). H.R. 18 would codify the principles of the Hyde Amendment on a permanent, government-wide basis.
House Democrats also announced that they will be leaving the Hyde Amendment out of the appropriations bill Fiscal Year 2022, as did President Biden in his proposed budget.
“Pro-abortion Democrats want abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This is a brazen disregard for the lives of unborn children and exposes the shameless contempt pro-abortion Democrats have for taxpayers who overwhelmingly oppose paying for abortions with their tax dollars.”
It’s estimated that before the Hyde Amendment took effect, the Medicaid program paid for about 300,000 elective abortions annually, and that the number was escalating rapidly. The Hyde Amendment is estimated to have saved over 2.4 million lives.
“National Right to Life believes that the Hyde Amendment has proven itself to be the greatest domestic abortion-reduction measure ever enacted by Congress,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D. legislative director for National Right to Life.
Meanwhile, starting Tuesday night, members of the House Republican leadership and the leadership of the Pro-life Caucus went to the floor of the House to ask for unanimous consent to vote on HR 18 to make the Hyde Amendment permanent and government wide. They announced an effort “18 days for HR 18” to try to enact this life-saving policy.
“We praise House Republicans for their commitment to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion,” said Tobias. “Pro-abortion Democrats have repeatedly blocked attempts by Republicans to bring H.R. 18 to the floor for a vote.”
On Wednesday, when the first of several appropriations bill was released, it was immediately noted that absent from the bill was the Dornan Amendment that applies the Hyde Amendment to the budget for Washington, D.C. and the Smith Amendment which prevents federal employee health plans from funding abortions.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), lead sponsor of H.R. 18 and co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, said,
“Lives have been saved by the Hyde Amendment. Over 2.4 million people who would have been aborted instead survived and their mothers benefited from prenatal health care and support. Furthermore, polling consistently shows that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion—nearly 6 in 10 according to a Marist poll released earlier this year.”
Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.), co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, noted,
“At a time when this common-sense and historically bipartisan amendment faces serious threats from Congressional pro-abortion Democrats—with the support of the Biden Administration—it is more important than ever to stand up and push back on the radical pro-abortion agenda.”
Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, said,
“Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis, signed into law by both Republican and Democrat presidents, and supported by most Americans – until now. Democrats have completely abandoned millions of pro-life Americans who vehemently oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. We must pass H.R. 18 and respect the wishes of the American people that tax dollars should not be used to fund abortions.”
Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), who is also a co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, noted,
“For over 40 years, Congress and both Republican and Democratic administrations have supported the Hyde Amendment to prohibit publicly funded abortions. That tradition seems to be lost on this White House, but protecting life should not be a partisan issue. We have to listen to the American people to overwhelmingly support life.”
The background and impact of the Hyde Amendment can be found here.
A summary of H.R. 18 can be found here.
A list of co-sponsors of the bill can be found here.