Abortion activists are coming in from multiple angles to attack long-standing policies that protect taxpayer dollars from abortion, ABC News reports.
Through both state and federal efforts, pro-abortion politicians and lobbyists are working to repeal the 40-year-old Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for most abortions in Medicaid. The amendment is a widely-supported measure that was upheld by the Supreme Court. Until recently, it has had strong bipartisan support. However, the Democratic Party’s new platform calls for a repeal of the amendment.
According to ABC, abortion activists recently introduced several bills to repeal Hyde and force taxpayer-funded abortions at both the state and federal level. U.S. House Democrats recently introduced a bill to overturn Hyde; it has 119 co-sponsors. While the federal bill is unlikely to pass in the Republican-controlled House, pro-abortion Democrats said they will not give up the fight.
“I don’t think we’re as far away as people might think,” pro-abortion U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., told ABC. “We got tired of tacitly accepting that a ban on Medicaid money was acceptable.”
Several states also are working on measures to expand taxpayer funding of abortion within their borders. One is Illinois where pro-abortion Democrats are pushing a bill to expand abortion coverage in the state Medicaid program, the report states.
Here’s more from the report:
For now, repeal of the Hyde Amendment is a long-term goal, not an imminent likelihood. Even if Clinton wins, Democrats would need improbably large gains in Congress to have a chance of ending the policy during her first term.
An extra complication: A handful of Democratic senators support the amendment, including Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Clinton’s own running mate — Tim Kaine of Virginia. Abortion-rights leaders were dismayed when Kaine reiterated his personal opposition to repeal. (LifeNews note: Kaine has flip-flopped several times on the issue and has not answered questions about how he would vote on the issue.)
“We sincerely hope that he will continue to educate himself on what Hyde means to the most vulnerable women in this country and join us in fighting this injustice,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
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Hillary Clinton promised Planned Parenthood last winter that she would work to overturn Hyde and force taxpayers to pay for abortions. The Democratic Party Platform also calls for the repeal of Hyde and the Helms Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion in foreign aid.
While abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood do receive some taxpayer funding, they are not supposed to use the money for abortions. If the amendments are repealed, that would change and abortion businesses could freely and openly receive tax dollars for abortions.
If abortion activists succeed, it is likely that more women would be pressured to have abortions and more unborn babies would die. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, abortions could increase by about 33,000 annually in the U.S. alone if the Hyde Amendment is repealed.
Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. A new Marist poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including a majority of women and people who identify as pro-choice. Americans understand that their tax dollars would be better spent helping women and their families, not pushing them toward aborting their unborn babies.