Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), attempted to remove Hyde Amendment protections to an emergency economic stimulus package that is currently under negotiation on Capitol Hill. Removing these protections would allow some of the money included in the stimulus package to directly fund abortions with federal taxpayer dollars.
According to The Daily Caller, senior White House officials allege that, “while negotiating the stimulus with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Pelosi tried to lobby for ‘several’ provisions that stalled bipartisan commitment to the effort. One was a mandate for up to $1 billion to reimburse laboratory claims, which White House officials say would set a precedent of health spending without protections outlined in the Hyde Amendment.”
“A new mandatory funding stream that does not have Hyde protections would be unprecedented,” The Daily Caller reported one White House official as saying. “Under the guise of protecting people, Speaker Pelosi is working to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent covering abortion – which is not only backwards but goes against historical norms.”
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision that prohibits federal funds from directly paying for abortions. The Hyde Amendment was originally passed in 1976 but didn’t take effect until 1980 when the Supreme Court ruled that the ban was constitutional. According to NPR, between 1973, when abortion was first legalized nationwide due to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, and 1980, federal taxpayer dollars directly funded 300,000 abortions annually.
Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) tweeted a strong statement condemning Pelosi’s maneuver. “This is disgraceful even for Pelosi! Dems are holding bill to deal with the Wuhan Virus hostage unless they get permanent new funding free from Hyde Amendment protections,” Rep. Brady tweeted. “This will mean direct, government funding of abortions. Extremists sinking to new low.”
Pro-life leader Lila Rose also tweeted a strong denunciation of Speaker Pelosi’s move to add federal abortion funding into the coronavirus bill. “Getting reports that Speaker Pelosi is trying to slip abortion funds into the proposed emergency stimulus package,” Rose tweeted. “It’s despicable that at a time of national crisis, Pelosi is attempting to trick Americans into paying for the deaths of babies.”
Taxpayer dollars have not directly funded abortions for over two decades because most American’s agree that federal dollars should not be used to fund something many Americans find objectively immoral.
Rahm Emanuel, the former Democrat mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s former chief of staff, infamously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” while referring to the 2008 economic crisis.
It seems a similar dynamic is going on here, with Speaker Pelosi using the coronavirus to push direct federal funding for abortions. Let’s hope members of Congress can put aside their policy agendas for a few weeks, while the nation grapples with how to deal with the virus, and a tumbling stock market.
Citizens demand as much from their leaders.
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