Exclusive–Over 180 House Members Vow to Preserve Hyde Amendment

Pedestrians walk past a Planned Parenthood clinic on May 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Trump administration is expected to announce a plan for massive funding cuts to Planned Parenthood and other taxpayer-backed abortion providers by reinstating a Reagan-era rule that prohibits federal funding from going to clinics that discuss …
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More than 180 members of the U.S. House have vowed to preserve the Hyde Amendment and vote against any federal funding bill that forces taxpayers to pay for abortion.

Breitbart News exclusively obtained the letter sent Thursday to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA). The lawmakers applaud the leaders for their “unwavering commitment” to preserve the Hyde Amendment as another deadline approaches to fund the federal government on February 18.

The 181 Members of Congress in the joint letter led by Congressional Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) wrote:

Thank you for the consistent pro-life leadership you have shown even as House and Senate Democrats have demonstrated their plan to use Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Appropriations legislation to strip out longstanding pro-life protections that have been in place for decades.

Pro-Life Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), and Kat Cammack (R-FL), together with members of the Pro-Life Caucus and RSC, also signed the letter.

The members of Congress continued:

For decades, federal appropriations legislation has included language to protect taxpayer money from funding and facilitating the killing of children alive but not yet born. The most famous of these protections, the Hyde Amendment, prevents direct taxpayer funding of abortion through programs like Medicaid.

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 proabortion provisions. 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.

The letter comes as a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 13 percent of Democrats say protecting abortion is a top priority for the federal government in 2022, compared to less than one percent of Democrats who found it a significant issue in 2021, and the three percent who identified it as a priority in 2020.

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, the Hyde Amendment is credited with saving at least 2.4 million lives, and has enjoyed longstanding bipartisan consensus since 1976.

Smith said in statement:

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. 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.

Banks observed that elimination of the Hyde Amendment “is both wrong and unpopular.”

“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.”

As Breitbart News reported, a Knights of Columbus/Marist poll released in January 2021 found most Americans support restrictions on abortion and oppose the government spending their tax dollars on abortions within the country and overseas.

The poll found that 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.

Additionally, results showed 77 percent of Americans either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the use of taxpayer funds for abortions overseas, an uptick of two percentage points from the 75 percent who responded similarly in the last two annual polls. Of those who oppose taxpayer funding of abortions abroad, 55 percent are Democrats, 95 percent are Republicans, and 85 percent are independents.

Only 19 percent of Americans said they either “support” or “strongly support” taxpayer funding of abortions outside the U.S.

And even among those who identify as “pro-choice,” 64 percent say they oppose the use of their tax dollars to support abortion overseas.

The Marist Poll also found more than three-fourths of Americans (76 percent) back significant restrictions on abortion, including a majority who identify as “pro-choice.”

Dr. Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll said:

While the number of people who identify as ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ tends to fluctuate with the public debate, when given a broader choice of policy options, there is a strong consensus among Americans on abortion. Survey results reveal support for abortion restrictions and an aversion for use of taxpayer funding for abortions abroad.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortion domestically or internationally,” the lawmakers wrote to the Republican leaders. “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.”

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