As 2020 draws to a close, Americans across the country are breathing a sigh of relief and hoping that 2021 will finally bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic—however, the fight for life is just beginning. Democrats promise that next year they’ll finally succeed in eliminating the Hyde Amendment.
In 1977, Congress first passed the eponymous Hyde Amendment, named after pro-life Congressman Henry J. Hyde. It prevents taxpayer money from directly funding abortions. The amendment has been reenacted every year and has mostly received bipartisan support throughout the decades.
That’s no longer the case.
“This is the last year,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro said in a recent hearing about the Hyde Amendment. “The time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo.”
“The Hyde Amendment is a discriminatory policy,” she continued, putting forth the tried-and-true pro-abortion arguments that the amendment is a political barrier to women seeking an abortion, especially low-income and rural women.
The incoming administration appears to agree with this new direction, as President-elect Joe Biden has supported calls to repeal the Hyde Amendment, though it’s questionable if Biden will follow through. Previously supportive of the amendment, it’s unclear if Biden’s change of heart is real or part of his campaign strategy—however, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who is profoundly pro-abortion, has publicly stated her support for repealing the amendment.
Ironically, Harris previously attacked Biden during one of the preliminary Democrat nominee debates before becoming his running mate. She said, “You made a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to reproductive health care, including women who were victims of rape and incest. Do you now say that you have evolved, and you regret that?”
However, Harris’ accusations are inaccurate.
The government is allowed to cover abortions in the case of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. So even with the Hyde Amendment in place, these extreme situations would still be covered.
But as the uber-liberal wings of the Democrat party have embraced more extreme policy positions, this sensible and understandable limitation on federal abortion funding is now under attack.
In this country, abortion still remains a deeply contested issue, despite the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
According to the Gallup Poll, between 1976 and 2020, the percentage of Americans who support abortion in all circumstances increased by 7 points. Americans who support abortion only in certain circumstances only changed by four points and Americans who want abortion illegal in all circumstances only changed by 1 point.
It’s telling in those 44 years that the percentages changed only slightly.
When it comes to Americans who see themselves as pro-life or pro-choice, that has changed the most. In 1996, 56% of Americans considered themselves pro-abortion, that number has now dropped to 48%. When it comes to pro-life Americans, that number has jumped from 33% to 46%.
The abortion issue has not been settled, and it’s reckless of politicians to push and advocate repealing the Hyde Amendment and forcing all Americans to fund abortions.
Photo from Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com