News & Politics

BREAKING: House Democrats Make History by Striking the Hyde Amendment

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

For the first time in 45 years, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending bill funding Medicaid without the Hyde Amendment, a measure that protects taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion. The spending bill will face a tough hurdle in the Senate, but the bill still sets a terrifying precedent for pro-life taxpayers.

The bill, which includes seven of the twelve annual appropriations bills to fund the government for the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1, passed the House 219-208 along party lines.

Republicans opposed the bill because Democrats had removed two essential abortion-related provisions: the Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment, which prohibits agencies receiving federal funding from discriminating against entities because they refuse to provide or pay for abortions.

“We have countless policy differences that will take time to resolve, and protecting the lives of unborn children must be the first step,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, told The Hill.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, argued that the Hyde Amendment is racist. “These provisions have long had a terrible and disproportionate impact on low-income women and women of color,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, argued. “Getting them off the books will be a huge step forward for reproductive and racial justice.”

The bill, which totals $617 billion in discretionary spending, would increase funding for several federal agencies, inducing the Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Internal Revenue Service. The bill covers the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Treasury, Interior, and Veterans Affairs.

Some on the Left celebrated the bill’s passage as a milestone in abortion history.

“BREAKING [Be Bold, End Hyde] HISTORY: The U.S. House just passed a spending bill FREE of the Hyde Amendment! This is a testament to the collective organizing + power of our 130+ strong coalition. This is [Abortion Justice] in action,” the pro-abortion group All Above All tweeted.

Indeed, moderate Democrats blocked an effort to pass a Medicaid spending bill without the Hyde Amendment in 1993. At the time, even many pro-choice Democrats understood that forcing taxpayers to fund abortion was a bridge too far.

Pro-life groups condemned the grim milestone, noting that this bill marks the first time a body of Congress has tried to force taxpayers to finance abortion.

“Government-compelled participation in abortion has no place in our country,” Denise Burke, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in a statement. “The Hyde Amendment has been included in the budget every year since it first went into effect in 1976, with the support of representatives from both sides of the aisle.”

“The majority of Americans oppose having their tax dollars pay for abortions, but President Biden and congressional Democrats insist on catering to the abortion industry instead of listening to the American people,” Burke added. She noted that House Democrats have also blocked H.R. 18, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would “enshrine the Hyde Amendment into law, ensuring that American taxpayers are not forced to fund abortions.”

According to a Marist poll earlier this year, most Americans (57 percent) either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” “using tax dollars to pay for a woman’s abortion.” Only 38 percent support taxpayer funding for abortion.

Recommended: Say Goodbye to the Hyde Amendment

On Wednesday night, the Democratic-majority House also passed a bill to fund abortions in foreign countries with tax dollars, dropping the Helms Amendment from a State Department funding bill. Oversees abortion funding is even less popular with voters. According to the Marist poll, 77 percent of Americans “oppose” or “strongly oppose” “using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.” Only 19 percent said they support it.

Voters should remember Democrats’ abortion radicalism at the ballot box next November.