News & Politics

Abortion Activist: 'The Hyde Amendment Is a Racist Policy'

YouTube screenshot of Guttmacher Institute President and CEO Herminia Palacio.

On Tuesday, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing condemning the Hyde Amendment, a federal policy that protects taxpayers from funding the intentional killing of babies in the womb. While the Hyde Amendment represents a key aspect of America’s fraught compromise on abortion, Democrats have increasingly opposed the measure. Yet at this hearing, supposed experts claimed that the Hyde Amendment is racist, even though abortion itself kills a disproportionately large number of black Americans.

Dr. Herminia Palacio, president and CEO of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, claimed that the Hyde Amendment is racist. She argued that the policy was “intentionally and unjustly imposed on black and brown people and people with low incomes.”

Citing the “legacy of systemic racism in this country,” Palacio claimed that “black and brown women” are disproportionately unlikely to have access to Medicare and Medicaid. She argued that black and indigenous people are more likely to die in America’s health care system, so the Hyde Amendment adds to “overlapping and perverse indignities.”

“As our country undergoes a racial reckoning, I want to be very clear: the Hyde Amendment is a racist policy,” Palacio declared. She also brought transgender ideology into her testimony, noting that “one in four cisgender women” will have abortions, and that “trans men and gender non-conforming individuals” will also want their unborn babies killed — even though only biological females can become pregnant.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the outgoing chair of the Appropriations Committee, agreed with Palacio, claiming that the Hyde Amendment “bullied low-income women, with a disproportionate impact on low-income women of color.”

“It deserves to be in the dustbin of history with other policies that were designed to limit the powerless,” Lowey argued.

Yet Christina Bennett, communications director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a black woman whose mother paid to abort her before changing her mind, vigorously defended the Hyde Amendment.

“The Hyde Amendment is accused of being racist but it’s not racist to protect black lives,” Bennett declared.

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“I was born in 1981, a year after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment,” she explained. While her mother intended to abort her, an elderly black janitor convinced her to change her mind. The doctor tried to force Bennett’s mother to abort her, “reminding her that she already paid for it.”

“My mother wanted me even though she had already paid for an abortion,” the pro-life spokeswoman explained.

She testified that she has helped “hundreds of women, some of whom were coerced by partners” to abort their children. “The Hyde Amendment has protected vulnerable women,” Bennett argued.

She noted a Marist poll from January 2020 finding that 60 percent of American voters oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. She also referenced a Charlotte Lozier Institute study finding that the Hyde Amendment saves an estimated 60,000 lives every year.

Bennett also noted that even though black women make up just 14 percent of the childbearing population, they make up over 36 percent of abortions.

She warned that “forcing taxpayers to fund elective abortions” will make “low-income women of color” prey to an industry with a “history of eugenics, population control, and the unlawful targeting of the black community.” She noted that Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger “targeted the black community through her Negro Project.”

Bennett concluded that “abortion on demand is a bandaid to the economic and health disparities.” She urged Congress to “improve the quality of lives instead of unjustly ending them.”

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) also encouraged his Democratic colleagues to consider “whether the promotion of abortion is itself structurally racist.”

Indeed, Louisiana State Rep. Katrina Jackson (D) called abortion “modern-day genocide for African-Americans.”

“More African American babies are killed in the womb each year than by any other cause,” she told PJ Media. “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?”

Radiance Foundation President Ryan Bomberger, a black survivor of abortion, crunched the numbers and found that Planned Parenthood kills approximately 247 unborn black babies every day.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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