A group of 200 Republican lawmakers signed a letter to both House and Senate Democratic and Republican leaders asking them to protect the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits public funds from being used to finance the abortion industry.
Led by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest group of conservatives within the GOP, the lawmakers addressed a letter to majority and minority leaders of both the House and Senate—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“We write to express our unified opposition to Congressional Democrats’ efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment and other current-law, pro-life appropriations provisions,” the letter states.
“As part of their pro-abortion crusade, Democrats have taken direct aim at these long-standing bipartisan protections that generally prevent the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to support abortion procedures,” the lawmakers stated.
The Hyde Amendment named after the lawmaker who introduced it in 1976 two years after the infamous Roe v. Wade case in which the Supreme Court legalized abortion, prevents public funds from being used to fund abortions, and each year it has to be ratified by the House Appropriations Committee.
According to an NBC report, the current chair of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) stated that “this is the last year” that Hyde is part of federal law.
“The time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo,” DeLauro said.
The Hyde Amendment does include some exceptions such as pregnancies due to rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.
In the letter, Republicans point out that the amendment has never been challenged by any president, including Obama the most pro-abortion president in American history.
“Repealing these pro-life provisions would destroy nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus,” the letter warns.
From a legal standpoint, the Wade v. Roe ruling implies that a woman has the “liberty” to terminate her pregnancy, but it is not a constitutional right, nor is the state obligated to fund such practices.
Put another way, the ruling permits the sinful practice of abortion by preventing the state from interfering with a woman’s “liberty” to decide, but that does not imply that a woman has a right to access public funds for abortion.
Public funding abortion also brings up the question of a society’s objection of conscience: why would taxpayers who support life and reject abortion have to pay for it?
“The Hyde Amendment alone has saved the lives of over 2 million innocent babies and continues to protect the conscience rights of a vast majority of Americans opposed to publicly funded abortions,” the letter states.
Banks told Breitbart, “This letter sends a strong signal to congressional leadership—conservatives won’t be backing down. We will unite against attacks by the radical left to transform America, and that includes forcing pro-life Americans to pay for abortions.”