Taxpayer funding of abortions is not popular, even among Americans who support legalized abortion.
But it is one of abortion activists’ key goals, and they are not giving up. Abortion activist Steph Herold made this very clear in a column in The Hill this week.
“… taxpayer and state funding should go to abortion services,” Herold wrote. Later, she concluded, “Anything less is un-American.”
The Hyde Amendment prohibits direct taxpayer funding of most abortions through Medicaid. Upheld by the Supreme Court, the Hyde Amendment is a target of abortion advocates who have moved from pro-choice to pro-abortion — forcing Americans not only to accept unlimited abortions up to birth but also to pay for them.
Research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute indicates the Hyde Amendment has saved more than 2 million babies’ lives from abortion in the past 40 years. The Guttmacher Institute estimates about 33,000 more abortions would take place annually if Hyde is overturned.
This week, Herold used Tax Day to criticize the amendment as “discriminatory” and argue that it denies poor and minority women easy access to abortion.
“Medicaid alone covers two in 10 women of reproductive age, meaning that this inequitable policy affects millions of women across the country and makes abortion inaccessible to all except the most financially privileged people,” she wrote.
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About 75 percent of people seeking abortion services are poor or low-income, many surviving on under $20,000 a year for a family of two. As the most rigorous research shows us, poverty goes beyond a low annual income: people in poverty are more likely to experience disruptive life event such as unemployment, separation from a partner, falling behind on rent, and being forced to move multiple times.
Denying abortion coverage to people already facing these burdens is a tax on people struggling to make ends meet. Our government should not be in the business of pushing healthcare further out of reach for anyone, especially people who already face so many barriers to healthcare.
The government and many Americans do not think abortion is health care, though. Polls consistently show that many Americans think abortion is morally troubling because it involves the killing of an innocent human being’s life.
What’s more, polls indicate that poorer Americans are some of the least supportive of taxpayer-funded abortions.
A Politico/Harvard University poll in October 2016 found that voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of taxpayer funding of abortions (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor). In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion are the ones who oppose it the most.
Overall, the poll found very little support for taxpayer-funded abortions. Just 36 percent of likely voters supported the issue, while 58 percent opposed it. These findings are consistent with previous polls from various groups.
Historically, the Hyde Amendment has received bipartisan support. The amendment has passed Congress every year since 1976. Last year, however, the Democratic Party adopted a new platform calling for Hyde to be reversed and taxpayers to be forced to pay for abortions.
It is interesting to note that Herold did not put any limits on taxpayer-funded abortions in her column. Without limits, tax dollars could be used to pay for abortions on viable, late-term unborn babies or baby girls whose parents want a boy instead. These types of abortions still are legal in quite a few states.
— secularprolife (@secularprolife) April 17, 2017
Taxpayer dollars should be used to support life, not destroy it.