More than 180 U.S. House lawmakers said Thursday that they remain strongly opposed to any legislation that forces taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
In a letter first reported about at Breitbart, the 181 lawmakers promised to stand with the American people on the issue as pro-abortion Democrats attempt to get rid of popular, long-standing bans on taxpayer funding for elective abortions in the United States and overseas.
“Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortion domestically or internationally,” the lawmakers wrote. “The consciences of health care providers who do not want to participate in abortion should be respected. Funding should not go to international organizations that are complicit in forced abortion and involuntary sterilization.”
The letter, addressed to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, thanked the two for their “unwavering commitment” to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions in Medicaid.
Since 1976, the amendment has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies’ lives, including about 60,000 each year, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
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For decades, most Republican and Democrat lawmakers supported the Hyde Amendment and other bans on taxpayer funding for abortions as a regular part of the budget. However, Democrats recently abandoned the public on the issue and sided with the billion-dollar abortion industry in calling for taxpayer-funded abortions.
In their letter Thursday, the lawmakers criticized House Democrat leaders for trying to get rid of these bans and force taxpayers to fund abortions in the U.S. and overseas.
“In July 2021, House Democrats passed several appropriations bills that did not include the Hyde Amendment or other longstanding, bipartisan pro-life protections and, instead, added pro-abortion provisions,” they wrote. “Many of these protections would also be eliminated by the nine appropriations bills released by the Senate Appropriations Committee on October 18, 2021. The removal of these longstanding policies represents an extreme pro-abortion stance that needs to be immediately addressed.”
Polls consistently show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions. A 2021 Marist poll found 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S., and 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries. A 2016 Harvard/Politico poll also found strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, especially among lower-income Americans, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion.
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican who helped write the letter, said Democrat leaders’ attempts to get rid of the Hyde Amendment are “both wrong and unpopular,” according to Breitbart.
“But today’s Democrat party only caters to their far-left base who demand the government provide taxpayer-funded abortions up until the point of birth,” Banks said. “Pro-life conservatives stand united against their radical agenda.”
Congressional Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, also criticized abortion activists for attempting to portray the killing of an unborn child as “health care.”
“Abortion is not health care unless one construes the precious life of an unborn child to be analogous to a tumor to be excised or a disease to be vanquished—pregnancy is not a disease,” Smith said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize abortion nor should anyone or any entity be coerced against their conscience to perform or facilitate the killing of an unborn child.”
The Hyde Amendment has saved about 2.4 million babies from abortions, according to research by Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar Dr. Michael New. 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.