The Hill: Why we will oppose spending bills that repeal or weaken the Hyde Amendment
2/03/21, February 3, 2021
The following article appeared at thehill.com on February 3, 2021.
Since it first passed Congress in 1976 on an overwhelming 312-93 veto proof vote, the Hyde Amendment has been one of the few policies that unite both Congress and the American people. In poll after poll, most Americans oppose the use of public, tax-payer funds for abortions. Jimmy Carter was a vocal supporter of the Hyde Amendment, and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both reaffirmed its standing. President Biden himself supported the rule as recently as June 2019.
Even if you’re not a pro-life conservative, there are reasons to support Hyde. As then-Sen. Joe Biden explained: “If it’s not government’s business, then you have to accept the whole of that concept, which means you don’t proscribe your right to have an abortion and you don’t take your money to assist someone else to have an abortion.” In other words, if you view abortion as a matter of choice, like most Democrats claim, you shouldn’t force people to pay for abortions.
Of course, there are also many good, conservative reasons to support the Hyde Amendment. For me, the most important reason is that it’s saved countless unborn lives.
Before Hyde, roughly 1/3 of all abortions nationwide were funded through Medicaid. Taxpayers were spending between $45 and $55 million on abortions every year. Since Hyde passed in 1976, the best estimates indicate the Hyde Amendment has prevented over 2.4 million abortions. That’s roughly 600,000 infants every year.
And the biggest beneficiaries of Hyde have been the most vulnerable among the most vulnerable. In U.S. states that do not fund abortion through Medicaid, one in every nine people born to a mother on Medicaid owes his or her life to the Hyde Amendment.
On Jan. 20, I attended Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. I didn’t attend because I support his policies, but because I support the peaceful transition of power, which is one of the things that makes America great.
In his speech, Joe Biden claimed he would focus on, “Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.” That’s a goal we can all aspire to.
Joe Biden wasn’t a radical in the Senate, and he’s not a radical in temperament. On Jan. 20, his words didn’t feel like an empty political slogan, they felt hopeful.
After 37 executive orders that cater to the Democrat Party’s most extreme elements, the Biden administrations priorities have begun to take shape, and that hopeful feeling is gone.
You cannot unite the country by forcing millions of Americans to violate their consciences and religious beliefs. You can’t unite America by catering to left-wing radicals. Unity is a republican principle, based on accepting and seeing past differences in order to work towards shared goals. It is not the same as the Chinese Communist concept of “harmony.”
I wish Joe Biden was honest about the difference.