House Democrats’ new spending bill still lacks necessary language to protect taxpayers from being forced to fund elective abortions.
In an analysis by National Review, pro-life leaders refuted Democrats’ claims that the new version of the budget reconciliation bill does not fund abortions.
Autumn Christensen of the Susan B. Anthony List said the bill does not include Hyde Amendment language that would ensure tax dollars are not being spent on the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The Hyde Amendment is a widely supported, decades-old measure that prohibits taxpayer funding for elective abortions in Medicaid and other programs. Since 1976, it has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies’ lives, including about 60,000 each year, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
However, the new spending bill does not include limits on taxpayer-funded abortions in several key areas.
Here’s more from National Review:
The reconciliation bill’s section regarding “family planning services” could require these new [Medicaid gap] plans to cover abortions, unless abortion funding is prohibited. In the new 1,684-page reconciliation bill that Democrats released on Thursday, that section of the bill has been changed in a way that at least appears to attempt to exclude elective-abortion coverage — but actually fails to do so.
“We see the change that was made,” [Christensen said]. “However, it was not drafted in a way that prevents an abortion mandate because it references the Medicaid statute — which does allow for abortion — instead of referencing Medicaid appropriations, which do not allow for abortion funding.”
Christensen said the bill also funds public health grants, and there is nothing in the legislation that prohibits those grants from funding abortions.
Republican lawmakers and at least one Democrat, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, are pushing back against the plans to fund abortions. Without their support, the bill likely will fail in the U.S. Senate.
Last week, Republican Sens. Steve Daines, of Montana, and James Lankford, of Oklahoma, published a memo exposing measures in the bill that could force taxpayers to fund abortions. According to National Review, these include:
- Mandates abortion funding for the Medicaid coverage gap population in the twelve non-expansion States through Obamacare exchange plans in 2024 and 2025, overriding state laws
- Provides $30 billion for subsidizing cost-sharing and reinsurance for individual market health coverage without any restrictions on funding abortions or plans that cover abortions
- Massively expands taxpayer funding for Obamacare exchange plans that cover abortions
- Provides more than $18 billion in health-related grants without any limits on funding abortions
Though polls consistently show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, the abortion industry and its allies in the Democratic Party are trying to get rid of the Hyde Amendment. Even President Joe Biden, who supported the Hyde Amendment for decades in Congress, now opposes it.
In January, a Marist poll found 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S. Additionally, 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
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 are the most strongly opposed to it.
Research by Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar Dr. Michael New estimates the Hyde Amendment has saved about 2.4 million babies from abortions. Prior to the amendment, in the 1970s, Americans paid for about 300,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths each year, according to a report from the Family Research Council.