Friday, September 30th marked the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment – a federal law that bars taxpayer funding of abortion and has saved the lives of two million unborn babies, according to a report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Congress enacted the first Hyde Amendment on September 30, 1976. The Hyde Amendment has been passed every year since 1976 and has largely prevented federal Medicaid dollars from paying for abortions. The Hyde Amendment has played an important role in the history of the national debate on abortion. Its passage was one of the pro-life movement’s first major legislative victories.
And now, Hillary Clinton wants the Hyde Amendment stopped, and American taxpayers to pay for abortion.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) September 30, 2016
According to Breitbart, in January, when Clinton accepted the official endorsement of Planned Parenthood, she also called for an end to the Hyde Amendment so that more low-income women could obtain abortions on demand on the taxpayer’s dime.
— NARAL (@NARAL) September 30, 2016
“I will always defend Planned Parenthood,” Clinton said. “And I will say – consistently and proudly – Planned Parenthood should be funded, supported, and appreciated; not undermined, misrepresented, and demonized.”
The then-Democrat contender said:
I believe we need to protect access to safe and legal abortion, not just in principle, but in practice. Any right that requires you to take measures to access it, is no right at all. Not when patients and providers have to endure harassment and intimidation just to walk into a health center; not when making an appointment means taking time off from work, finding child care, and driving half-way across your state; not when providers are required by state law to recite misleading information to women in order to shame and scare them; and not as long as we have laws on the books like the Hyde Amendment, making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.
The Hyde Amendment was initially proposed by Rep. Henry Hyde and enacted in 1976. As Arina Grossu notes at The Federalist:
Between 1973 and 1977, the years between Roe v. Wade and the Hyde Amendment becoming law, the federal government spent about $50 million annually to fund approximately 300,000 abortions per year under Medicaid. In defending his amendment, Hyde said we “cannot in logic and conscience help fund the execution of these innocent, defenseless human lives.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) says this anniversary should be celebrated.
“Today we celebrate 40 years of Henry Hyde’s lifesaving Hyde Amendment, which keeps taxpayer dollars from paying for most abortions,” Jordan said in a statement. “The amendment has saved the lives of as many as two million people.”
“As we continue to celebrate and fight for the right to life, it’s important to remember the victories we have had and continue to have through the dedication and effort of the leaders who came before us,” he added. “Let’s honor the memory of Henry Hyde and continue to fight for more great, life-saving legislation like the Hyde Amendment.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp also tweeted out his support for the Hyde Amendment:
— Cong. Tim Huelskamp (@CongHuelskamp) September 30, 2016
In honor of the Hyde Amendment’s 40th anniversary, national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List publicly launched the “Save Hyde” Declaration, which has been signed by more than 13,000 grassroots activists and 35 federal legislators.
“A majority of Americans oppose the use of their taxes to fund abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, adding:
In the face of this 40-year consensus, the two presidential candidates have staked out opposite positions. Donald Trump wants to enshrine this policy into law, while Hillary Clinton wants to repeal it. Her radical support for forcing taxpayers to fund abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth is out of step – even with members of her own party.
Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, observes that “two million preborn children…were given a chance at life instead of a government-subsidized death.”
“However, the abortion lobby and their Washington allies have made it their aim to repeal Hyde, which would force every taxpayer to further subsidize the killing of more innocent children, especially the children of low-income Americans,” she continues. “But nearly half of Americans consider themselves pro-life, and an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose taxpayer-subsidized abortions.”
Rose refers to a recent Marist poll that found a majority of Americans – 62 percent – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 63 percent of women, 45 percent of those who say they are “pro-choice,” and 44 percent of Democrats.