For nearly half a century, federal law has protected U.S. taxpayers from directly funding abortions in the United States. This protection is known as the Hyde Amendment, and it was first passed in 1976. Although a clear majority of Americans have consistently supported this commonsense protection, the Hyde Amendment was immediately challenged in court. Fortunately, in 1980, the Supreme Court upheld the provision’s constitutionality in Harris v. McRae. Subsequently, a version of the Hyde Amendment has passed every year since, and it has become ensconced in federal law.
But now, the Hyde Amendment is under attack in Washington, D.C. As we previously reported, President Biden has called for the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, and now a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee has responded by drafting a bill to accomplish just that.
As we explained:
Functionally, the Hyde Amendment is not a part of the permanent U.S. law, but rather has been attached to spending bills in every fiscal cycle since 1980. Over that period of time, other similar and related spending restrictions around the issue of abortion have been approved, but Hyde continues to form the baseline, and near-consensus, foundation of U.S. policy around the question of taxpayer-funded abortion in the U.S.
Until recently, the American people have been joined in their support of this policy by a wide bipartisan majority in Congress. Even then-Senator Joe Biden publicly supported the Hyde Amendment during his nearly 30 years in the U.S. Senate after the amendment was first passed. He, along with virtually every other member of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate who served during these decades, voted in favor of spending bills that included the amendment. For decades, the amendment was not particularly controversial. It was simply common sense.
It is a fairly staggering proposition that Americans should be forced to pay for abortions. But the abortion lobby in Washington, D.C., is demanding increasingly radical devotion to its cause. The effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment is just the latest evidence of how extreme the pro-abortion industry has become.
In addition to protecting taxpayers from violating their conscience, the Hyde Amendment literally saves lives. As we told you:
The impact of the Hyde Amendment goes far beyond the simple, albeit important, goal of protecting the conscience of U.S. taxpayers. It also saves millions of lives. Literally. One study found that the Hyde Amendment has saved more than 2.4 million lives since the time it was first enacted. It is a staggering figure and demonstrates that the policy is clearly worth continuing.
In response to this effort to end the Hyde Amendment, pro-life Members of Congress are calling for enactment of H.R. 18, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. This legislation would codify the Hyde Amendment and make it a part of permanent federal law, protecting U.S. taxpayers from financing the taking of innocent human life.
Additionally, Members of Congress have been going to the House Floor each day to advocate for the preservation of the Hyde Amendment and to make the case for the value of preborn life. We’ve compiled highlights of these important speeches here.
We are grateful to these Members of Congress for standing up and speaking out for the most defenseless among us. It is time for Congress to respond to the will of the American people and make the Hyde Amendment part of permanent federal law.
You can add your support by signing our petition opposing taxpayer funding of abortion here.
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