Anti-Life United State Representative Barbara Lee (D – California) wrote a scathing article about the life-saving Hyde Amendment in a recent edition of Time Magazine. The Hyde Amendment, first enacted in 1976, is an appropriations rider applied to federal budget bills on a case-by-case basis. The rider ensures that federal funds are not used to directly cover the medical costs of elective abortions except in rare circumstances, which vary depending on the budget item. Because of the legislation, taxpayer-funded programs like Medicaid cannot pay for the elective abortions of recipients. The passage of the Hyde Amendment is considered the first major Pro-Life legislative victory following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion on-demand in 1973.
Anti-Life politicians have tried many times to end the Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to directly fund elective abortions through Medicaid. In 2015, for example, Lee first introduced the EACH Woman Act. The legislation, fundamentally at odds with the beliefs of the majority of Americans, did not pass.
Nonetheless, Lee is on her anti-Life crusade again, this time in response to H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, which would make the Hyde Amendment permanent. At the end of January, the United States Congress voted in favor of H.R. 7. The Pro-Life measure is heading to the Senate and, hopefully to President Donald Trump’s desk. In addition to making permanent the funding prohibitions of the Hyde Amendment, H.R. 7 would protect taxpayers from subsidizing abortion in other ways. The resolution prohibits abortions at facilities owned or operated by the federal government, and prevents federal employees from committing abortions within the scope of their employment.
Planned Parenthood and their abortion activist friends have been trying to overturn the Hyde Amendment for years. Predictably, Congress’s vote on H.R. 7 caused a firestorm among anti-Life activists. Lee was so outraged by the Pro-Life protections that she was inspired to reintroduce her anti-Life legislation the EACH Woman Act. While she describes this as a “bold move,” the reintroduction of her failed resolution is a waste of legislators’ time. The American people have shown that they do not support taxpayer funding of elective abortion. When the elites who are friends of the abortion industry try to force anti-Life measures on their constituents, no one wins.
Who has the most at stake? Families who depend on Medicaid. Recent analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute shows that the Hyde Amendment has saved 2.1 million lives – including 258,265 Texans. Lee and her anti-Life cronies insist they are helping women and that Pro-Life legislators “have spent their careers trying to take healthcare away from women.” Lee’s position ignores the fact that what many women want are resources to choose Life, not coercion into an abortion decision they might regret for the rest of their lives. When the funds prohibited from being used for abortions go toward real healthcare and comprehensive prenatal care for women, families benefit and Pro-Life Americans do not have to worry about their hard-earned dollars paying for abortions.