House Democrats Pass Bill to Eliminate Hyde Amendment, Make Americans Fund Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2021   |   3:43PM   |   Washington, DC

House Democrats passed the first bill ever to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and force Americans to fund the killing of unborn babies in abortions.

On a 219-208 vote, Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats passed spending bills that, unless blocked by the Senate, would eliminate the Hyde Amendment and other longstanding pro-life policies that prevent taxpayer funding of abortion on demand. Today’s vote follows the passage on Wednesday of a spending bill that would force Americans to directly fund abortion overseas.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding for most abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs. It is credited with saving about 2.4 million babies’ lives, and polls consistently show strong public support for it.

For decades, most Republican and Democrat lawmakers supported the amendment as a regular part of the budget. However, Democrat leaders recently abandoned the public on the issue and sided with the billion-dollar abortion industry instead.

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The Democrat bill would eliminate or weaken four pro-life laws or policies, including:

  • Hyde Amendment: stops federal taxpayer funding of abortion on demand in the United States.
  • Dornan Amendment (D.C. Hyde): stops federal taxpayer funding of abortion on demand in Washington, D.C.
  • Hyde-Weldon Amendment: protects health care workers and institutions from government coercion to participate or be complicit in abortions.
  • Smith Amendment (FEHBP Hyde): stops funding for abortion on demand in Federal Employee Health Benefits.

Republican members offered several amendments that would have restored Hyde protections to the budget. In a strong show of unity, every House Republican co-sponsored an amendment offered by Ranking Member Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) to restore Hyde. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) proposed an amendment to restore his amendment regarding Federal Employee Health Benefits and Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) proposed an amendment to restore the Dornan (“D.C. Hyde”) Amendment. Democrats refused to allow consideration of any pro-life amendments. Republican leadership then used their motion to recommit in a final attempt to restore the Hyde policies described above. The motion failed 208-217.

Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) voted against the bill and slammed Democrats for forcing Americans to pay for terminating babies’ lives.

“For four decades, the Hyde Amendment has prevented the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The Hyde Amendment has historically been bipartisan, and President Joe Biden supported it when he served in the U.S. Senate,” Barr said. “Kentuckians do not believe in abortion on demand. As a strong supporter of pro-life policies, I will continue to fight these radical policies in Congress and stand up for Kentucky values.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life group, told LifeNews that her organization would work hard to stop the pro-abortion bill in the Senate.

“Biden-Pelosi Democrats doubled down on abortion extremism today, scrapping decades of bipartisan consensus that #HydeSavesLives,” said Dannenfelser. “Nearly 2.5 million of our fellow Americans are living thanks to the original Hyde Amendment alone – with the largest impact felt in poor and historically marginalized communities. Yet House Democrats have eliminated vital protections for the vulnerable and attacked the motives of the strong majority of Americans who support them, including colleagues and countless rank-and-file Democrats and Independents nationwide. They do so at their own political peril,” Dannenfelser said.

She added: “In contrast, the entire GOP conference stands united in support for Hyde. We are deeply grateful to Republican leadership and all our front-line heroes fighting for unborn children and their mothers. Pro-abortion Democrats’ agenda is indefensible and far too extreme to pass the Senate.”

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies’ lives, including about 60,000 each year, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortions. A recent Marist poll found that 77 percent of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to promote abortion overseas, and 58 percent oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions in the United States.

2016 Harvard/Politico poll found strong support for the Hyde Amendment as well. It also 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 more likely to oppose it.

Joe Biden recently rejected the Hyde Amendment after decades of supporting it. His proposed 2022 budget also would force taxpayers to pay for abortions.