News & Politics

Say Goodbye to the Hyde Amendment

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 on Friday, and the whopping $6 trillion budget has a stunning omission. The Hyde Amendment, which has prevented taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortion for decades, was nowhere to be found. During the 2020 campaign, Biden reversed his decades-long support for the Hyde Amendment, and the budget formalized that move.

“Budgets are a statement of values. President Biden’s budget proposes to end the harmful Hyde Amendment — making clear that federal law should support everyone’s ability to access health care, including safe, legal, abortion, in this country,” Planned Parenthood Action declared on Twitter.

“GREAT news: [Biden] has become the first president in decades to remove the Hyde Amendment from the budget, helping advance our fight to end this racist & discriminatory policy once and for all,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) triumphantly declared.

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Abortion activists have claimed that the Hyde Amendment is racist because the policy was “intentionally and unjustly imposed on black and brown people with low incomes.” In reality, the policy emerged as a compromise after Roe v. Wade (1973) struck down state laws forbidding abortion. Republicans and Democrats (including Joe Biden) agreed that since abortion would be legal, the least the federal government could do would be to protect the consciences of pro-life taxpayers.

In the name of fighting racism, abortion activists now claim that taxpayers should be forced to pay for the intentional killing of unborn babies because racial minority women would ostensibly benefit from abolishing Hyde.

Most Americans support the Hyde Amendment and oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, however. A Marist poll from January 2020 found that 60 percent of American voters oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. This year, the poll found that 58 percent of American voters oppose it. A Charlotte Lozier Institute study found that the Hyde Amendment saves an estimated 60,000 lives every year.

“The Biden/Harris budget is radically out of touch with the American people on the issue of taxpayer support for abortion,” Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, said in a statement. “The majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars funding abortion, yet the Biden/Harris administration removed the long-standing – since 1976 – Hyde protections against such a policy.”

“Joe Biden once said ‘don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.’  Sadly, this administration does not value human life nor does it represent the wishes of mainstream America on such a critical issue,” McClusky added.

“For more than four decades, the Hyde family of pro-life policies has kept American taxpayers out of the abortion business, with the Hyde Amendment itself saving nearly 2.5 million lives,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser declared in a statement. “The Biden budget throws that longstanding, bipartisan consensus out the window to fulfill a campaign promise to the radical abortion lobby.”

“Once a supporter of policies that protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers, President Biden today caters to the most extreme voices within his party. The majority of Americans remain opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion. We urge our congressional allies to be fearless in fighting to preserve the common-ground Hyde principle and to reject any budget that omits vital pro-life protections,” Dannenfelser added.

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Indeed, Biden’s decision to strike the Hyde Amendment from his budget represents a rejection of his own more moderate record and an extreme stance most voters reject. Unfortunately, many on the Left will continue to wrongly characterize him as a moderate.