House Democrats have backed away from eliminating the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding measure that bans taxpayer funding of abortion, from a spending bill.
“I think we don’t have the votes that we need,” said Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA), according to a report in the Washington Examiner. “It’s frustrating. I actually think the country is with us.”
Jayapal added the Hyde Amendment has become a “political issue.”
“It’s a political issue that is being used for political gain and it shouldn’t be because it’s a personal issue and it’s a constitutional issue,” she said.
House Democrat leaders blocked an effort by abortion industry allies in their party to strip the Hyde Amendment from a $190 billion appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
The move comes as 2020 Democrat hopeful Joe Biden has flip-flopped on his view of the Hyde Amendment several times in the past week. Pro-life organization March for Life Action summarized the former vice president’s “evolution” on the Hyde Amendment in a tweet:
Evolution of @JoeBiden
1980's Joe Biden: I'm pro-life.
1988-2000's: Abortion is ok taxpayers shouldn't pay for it.
June 3, 2019: taxpayers should pay
June 5, 2019: taxpayers shouldn't pay
June 7, 2019: oh wait, I meant taxpayers SHOULD pay for abortionshttps://t.co/nunl6vNnC6
— March for Life Action (@MFLAction) June 7, 2019
Biden received tremendous pressure from the abortion lobby and its allies to drop his support for the Hyde Amendment and get in sync with the other 2020 Democrat candidates who support abortion on demand at any time during pregnancy for any reason.
“Times have changed,” said Biden in announcing his latest view of the Hyde Amendment.
“I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” he continued, arguing that if health care is “a right,” then he “can no longer support that amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”
Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry have attempted to convince Americans that ending the life of an unborn baby is the equivalent of “health care” and that refusing to fund abortions of low-income “women of color” constitutes discrimination.
“[Y]oung women and women of color elected leaders are really starting to change that narrative and push back on the history [of Hyde] of how this came to be…and for voters, they understand that your health care should not be limited.” #BeBoldEndHyde https://t.co/4Q2IVcfTHY
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 11, 2019
According to the report, Jayapal and other progressive Democrats conceded removing the 43-year-old bipartisan measure that blocks taxpayer funding of abortion would jeopardize the spending bill in the GOP-led Senate, as well as the ability to obtain the signature of President Donald Trump.
“I would repeal it tomorrow, and I think that is overwhelmingly the feeling in our caucus,” said Rep. Kathleen Clark (MA), vice chairwoman of the Democrat Caucus. “But at this point … we felt that the Hyde Amendment was going to become a focal point that would collapse everything in the Labor-H bill that is so good for American families.”
A Marist poll released in January found 60 percent of Americans oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
The poll also found 76 percent of Americans are in favor of limiting abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy, including 92 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents, and 61 percent of Democrats.
Additionally, while 51 percent of Americans identify as “pro-choice,” even 60 percent of those agree with substantial restrictions on abortion.