Sen. Steve Daines Leads 47 Senators in Pledge to Block Pro-Abortion Bills

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing for Janet L. Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Treasury Secretary, on January 19, 2021 in Washington DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) led a letter Friday with 47 other pro-life senators to pledge to Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) they will be unified in blocking any bill that undermines pro-life protections, including one that would attempt to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Daines, the chairman of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, said in a statement about the letter sent to Schumer:

We have a message for Democratic Leader Schumer: we will vote to block any radical, pro-abortion agenda. That includes any bill that undermines the Hyde Amendment and other longstanding pro-life protections. I’m glad to have 47 of my pro-life Senate colleagues join me in this fight. We’re in the fight for life together.

The letter complements one led by Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee in the U.S. House, and sent to congressional leaders with 200 signatures in support of pro-life policies, including the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding provision that bars taxpayer funding of abortion.

The letter reads:

We are united in our resolve to guard against any changes to Federal law that would unsettle nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus against taxpayer funding for abortion on demand, or otherwise threaten the lives of unborn children. Accordingly, we are committed to vote against the advancement of any legislation that would eliminate or weaken the Hyde Amendment or any other current-law pro-life protections, or otherwise undermine existing Federal pro-life policy.

“Abortion is not health care,” the letter continues. “Rather, it is a brutal procedure that destroys the life of an innocent unborn child.”

March for Life

The senators also write that the Hyde Amendment “reflects a consensus that millions of pro-life Americans who are profoundly opposed to abortion should not be coerced into paying for it or incentivizing it with their taxpayer dollars.”

“A substantial majority of the American public agrees,” the letter states and cites results of a recent Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll that found 58 percent of those surveyed said they oppose taxpayer funding of abortion within the United States, including 31 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of Republicans, and 65 percent of independents.

The letter has been endorsed by multiple pro-life organizations, including the Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, March for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life, Live Action, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Center for Family and Human Rights, Eagle Forum, and Students for Life of America.

Daines’ office shared the list of the 47 senators who joined him in signing the letter:

Senators John Barrasso (Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), John Cornyn (Texas), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Kennedy (La.), James Lankford (Okla.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Rob Portman (Ohio), James Risch (Idaho), Mitt Romney (Utah), Michael Rounds (S.D.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), John Thune (S.D.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Todd Young (Ind.).

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