Congressman Tom Cole shot down Democrats’ claims about a long-standing prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortions being racist Tuesday, highlighting evidence that the opposite is true.
The Oklahoma Republican said the Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies from abortion, many of them children of black and Hispanic women who frequently are targeted for abortions, Breitbart reports.
Democrats, who control the U.S. House, held a subcommittee hearing Tuesday about ending the Hyde Amendment and forcing taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions through Medicaid and other federal programs. The Democrat lawmakers and abortion activists argued that the amendment, which has strong public support, is “racist” because it makes it harder for African American, Hispanic and low-income women to get abortions.
Cole dismissed their claims as nonsense. He highlighted research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute that estimates the Hyde Amendment “has saved the lives of over 2 million people since it was first adopted in 1976, most of them people of color,” according to the report.
“The Hyde Amendment protects the conscience rights of the great majority of Americans who are opposed to publicly funded abortion for religious, moral or simply fiscal reasons,” the congressman continued.
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Abortion activists’ arguments contradict their own research. Statistics show that while African Americans make up 13 percent of the population, they have 36 percent of all abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate among black women is almost five times higher than it is among white women.
This suggests that access to abortion is not a problem among African Americans, as opponents of the Hyde Amendment claim. Quite the opposite, they are aborting their unborn babies at a much higher rate than white and Latino women.
Christina Bennett, a black pro-life advocate with the Family Institute of Connecticut and one of the few pro-life voices allowed at the hearing, told lawmakers that abortion coercion is very real, and ending the Hyde Amendment would only make it worse. She shared how her mother almost gave into the pressure to abort her but made a last-minute decision to choose life.
“It’s not racist to preserve black lives,” Bennett said.
She said the abortion industry, which would benefit from ending the Hyde Amendment, has a “history of eugenics, population control and the unlawful targeting of the black community.”
“Abortion on demand is a bandaid to the economic and health disparities,” Bennett said, telling lawmakers to “improve the quality of lives instead of unjustly ending them.”
Research by Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar Dr. Michael New estimates the Hyde Amendment has saved about 2.4 million babies from abortions, including about 60,000 annually. Prior to the amendment, in the 1970s, Americans paid for about 300,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths each year, according to a new report from the Family Research Council.
Polls consistently show that most Americans support the Hyde Amendment. A 2020 Marist poll 60 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, including 35 percent of Democrats.
Even more significantly, a 2016 Harvard/Politico poll found that voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of forcing taxpayers to fund 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.
Since the late 1970s, the Hyde Amendment has had strong bipartisan support from Congress and the American people. Four years ago, however, Democrat Party leaders abandoned Americans’ priorities in favor of those of the abortion industry and adopted a platform calling for taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. Now, it is one of their priorities.
Democrats have a majority in the U.S. House, and Joe Biden, should he be confirmed as the presidential winner, supports ending the Hyde Amendment, too. Pro-life leaders are focusing on the U.S. Senate where its narrow Republican majority is in jeopardy and, with it, Republicans’ ability to stop radical pro-abortion legislation – such as taxpayer-funded abortions – from becoming law.