by Steven Ertelt
April 22, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Longtime pro-life champion Henry Hyde, an Illinois congressman, announced this week that this term will be his last. Since the 1970s, Hyde has been an eloquent voice for unborn children and pro-life lawmakers have looked to him for leadership on pro-life issues.
Hyde turned 81 on Monday and advancing age and health issues have contributed to his desire to call it a day.
Physical limitations from back surgery have made it "increasingly difficult to run around in the places you have to be a successful congressman.”
"Father Time and Mother Nature both stalk every one of us, and they finally caught up with me,” Hyde said in Tuesday’s (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald.
Hyde was first elected to the House in 1974 and served as chairman of the House International Relations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2001. In those positions, Hyde advanced pro-life legislation and worked to stop using taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortions in other countries.
Hyde’s lasting legacy will be the federal Hyde amendment, which has prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund almost all abortions since the 1976. The Supreme Court heard a case in 1980 challenging the law and upheld it as constitutional.
"The pro-life movement is losing one of its most passionate and articulate advocates in Congress," former presidential candidate Gary Bauer said in response to Hyde’s retirement announcement.
"For more than three decades, Henry Hyde has stood strong and unshakable against the growing ‘culture of death’ in America," Bauer said of Hyde. "He has been an eloquent voice for the voiceless and a great inspiration to all of us who care deeply about the timeless values of faith and family. He never hesitated to speak the truth and always with compassion and conviction."
Hyde told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I just want to be remembered as a good man who did some good."
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