If President-Elect Donald Trump keeps his campaign promises, he intends to defund Planned Parenthood, nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, endorse the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act banning abortions after 20 weeks, and make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions.
However, 106 Democrats in Congress are not so happy about this, and wrote the president-elect a letter expressing their discontent, New York Magazine reports.
“These bans restrict the health coverage of millions of women of reproductive age across the country,” the Democrats’ letter states. “For too long, low-income women and women of color have shouldered the burden of our country’s restrictive reproductive health laws. We ask that you send a strong signal that this will no longer be the legacy of the United States.”
In the letter, the Democratic lawmakers also urge Trump to change his mind and repeal of the Hyde Amendment and other legal restrictions on abortion.
First passed in 1976, the Hyde Amendment was an appropriations rider banning taxpayer funding of abortions in certain federally subsidized healthcare programs. Prior to enactment, 50 million taxpayer and Medicaid dollars were spent on 300,000 abortions each year, the Federalist reports.
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As Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde said, the amendment was passed because “[we] cannot in logic and conscience help fund the execution of these innocent, defenseless human lives.”
This legislation is credited with saving more than 2 million unborn children in four decades, averaging 60,000 lives annually, the Charlotte Lozier Institute reports.
The amendment has been upheld with bipartisan support since its infancy, though the 2016 Democratic platform brazenly called to dismantle the amendment, the report continues.
Trump’s former competitor, Hillary Clinton, advocated for overturning the Hyde Amendment and forcing taxpayers to fund abortions.
“Because if we have a right, and I think people have a right to health… but certainly the full range of reproductive health rights that women should have includes access to safe and legal abortion,” Clinton said earlier this year.
The Democrats’ new position on taxpayer funding of abortion is widely unpopular. A Knights of Columbus survey found that 68 percent of Americans, including half of those who identify as pro-choice, do not support the use of taxpayer funds to subsidize abortion. A Harvard University poll reported similarly strong opposition.
The KOC survey also found that 81 percent believe there should be restrictions on abortions in the first trimester barring rape, incest or health risks to the mother. This statistic includes two-thirds of those who self-identify as pro-choice. In addition, 60 percent said they believe abortion is morally wrong, including one-third who identify as pro-choice.
Both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence have promised to fight for greater protections for unborn babies in America.
“Let me make it crystal clear: People who know me well know that I’m pro-life, I don’t apologize for it. I want to live to see the day that we put the sanctity of life back at the center of American law, and we send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history, where it belongs,” Pence said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this fall.
“Let me assure you the Trump-Pence administration will stand for the sanctity of life and defend the unborn from the first day we take office. I’m truly grateful for Donald Trump’s strong commitment to the sanctity of life. He understands the moral imperative of advancing the cause of life.”