After the Supreme Court unilaterally struck down state laws regulating abortion in Roe v. Wade (1973), Congress passed two amendments to protect pro-life taxpayers from being forced to finance what they consider to be a form of murder. The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer funding for abortions in the U.S. and the Helms Amendment prevents taxpayer funding for abortions overseas. This week, House Democrats filed the “first-ever bill” to repeal the Helms Amendment, calling the policy “deeply rooted in racism.”
“The Helms Amendment is a policy deeply rooted in racism. It imposes our arbitrary and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions on international communities, allowing the United States to control the health care and bodily autonomy of billions of Black and brown people around the world,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said in a statement. Schakowsky teamed up with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), a member of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad,” to introduce the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act of 2020.
“Just like the Hyde Amendment, the Helms Amendment puts reproductive and economic freedom out of reach for women of color,” Schakowsky argued. “But enough is enough, and both amendments must fall if we want to realize true health equity and reproductive justice.”
“Abortion care is health care and health care is a fundamental human right. For too long, anti-choice policy, including the Helms Amendment and the Hyde Amendment, has dictated who has access to critical healthcare, economic opportunity and bodily autonomy,” Pressley argued. “We must be consistent in our calls to dismantle racist policies that perpetuate inequities and exacerbate health disparities for Black and brown people here in the United States and around the globe.”
While Pressley and Schakowsky insist that the Helms Amendment is racist, black babies are disproportionately killed by abortions in the U.S.
State Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-La.) has condemned abortion as a “modern-day genocide for African Americans. More African American babies are killed in the womb each year than by any other cause. There’s no other way to look at it. At the close of 2019, more African American babies will die at the hands of abortionists than any other disease, sickness, or violence combined. How do you not define it to be genocide?”
Genocide: More African-American Babies ‘Die at the Hands of Abortionists’ Than Any Other Cause, Dem Rep Says
According to Ryan Bomberger, a black survivor of abortion and founder of the pro-life Radiance Foundation, Planned Parenthood kills approximately 247 unborn black babies every day. He cited the Guttmacher Institute, which reported 926,200 abortions in 2014, 28 percent of which were among black women. That amounts to 259,336 unborn black babies killed in 2014 (711 per day). The top 15 leading causes of death among black Americans amount to 246,122 lost lives.
Bomberger then took Planned Parenthood’s share of abortions, 34.7 percent in 2016 (321,384 Planned Parenthood abortions divided by 926,200 abortions in the U.S. that year) and calculated that Planned Parenthood itself kills approximately 247 unborn black babies per day.
“The Helms Amendment has saved countless lives around the world,” Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, told PJ Media. “Groups like International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), on the other hand, specifically target babies in the developing world for abortion. IPPF or any group that foists their radical abortion ideology on poorer nations should never be funded by American tax dollars.”
Slamming the Democrats for their “radical, pro-abortion platform,” McClusky insisted that “Americans shouldn’t have to worry if their tax dollars are funding abortions at home or abroad. As voters start mailing in ballots and going to the polls this is a stark reminder of the stakes to life in this year’s election. I urge the House to leave partisan politics aside and instead work towards pro-life policies that uphold the dignity of every person.”
While Pressley and Schakowsky played up the “racism” angle in their press release, the text of their bill goes out of its way to promote another leftist pet project, the transgender movement. Abortion isn’t just “good” for women, but for other “people with uteruses,” as the euphemism goes.
“Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that when people, including young women and adolescent girls, gender non-conforming individuals, and transgender men [biological women who identify as men], are able to control their reproductive lives, there are enormous social and economic benefits—not just for the individual and their family, but for entire communities,” the bill argues.
Americans broadly support the Hyde and Helms Amendments. According to a Knights of Columbus-Marist poll from January, 60 percent of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion in the U.S. Most Independents (55 percent) and Republicans (90 percent) support the Hyde Amendment and even 35 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice” also oppose taxpayer dollars funding abortion in the U.S.
Americans are even more unified in opposition to taxpayer funding for abortion overseas. A whopping 76 percent of Americans say they oppose or strongly oppose “using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.” Even the majority of those who identify as “pro-choice” (61 percent) support the policy behind the Helms Amendment.
The poll did not survey Americans’ opinions on taxpayer funding for abortion for women who identify as men overseas. Support for such a ridiculous position likely polls even worse than taxpayer funding for abortion overseas. But hey, Ayanna Pressley has a campaign to raise money for.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.