CV NEWS FEED // Sens. Joe Manchin, D-WV, and Roger Wicker, R-MS, have written a bipartisan letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee in defense of the pro-life Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for most abortions.
“We write to express our support for the Hyde Amendment, which has been included in annual appropriations bills on a bipartisan basis since 1976,” the letter stated:
Specifically, this amendment prohibits federal funding for elective abortion coverage, except in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger, through any program funded through the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act.
The Hyde Amendment is “a decades-long, consensus-building compromise, and we urge you to maintain this longstanding provision in the Fiscal Year 2022 bill,” the Senators wrote.
“Recent public polls show almost 60 percent of Americans oppose or strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to support abortion,” they argued:
Both Democrat and Republican Presidents have signed the Hyde Amendment into law. It has passed through both Democrat and Republican controlled Congresses, and it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980. Repealing this provision would eliminate over 40 years of bipartisan precedent.
The letter comes amid an unprecedented push from the Biden administration and its allies in Congress to eliminate the Hyde Amendment’s inclusion in appropriations bills altogether.
Pro-life leaders, including CatholicVote President Brian Burch, have decried the effort. “We must stand our ground,” said Burch, pointing out longstanding bipartisan support for the Hyde Amendment. “In fact, when in the Senate, Joe Biden supported the Hyde Amendment and voted for it more than 25 times,” Burch added. “But now President Biden is calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment, which has saved nearly 2.5 million lives.”
Manchin has indicated that he would agree. “I’m going to support Hyde in every way possible,” he told a Bloomberg reporter last month.
Fellow Democrat Senators Bob Casey, Jr., D-PA, and Tim Kaine, D-VA, have also said they would support keeping Hyde. Together with Manchin, they tried to apply the amendment to the last major appropriations bill, but their attempt was rejected.
The battle over the Hyde Amendment has led to confrontation between the Biden administration and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Ahead of the passage of Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, fiercely condemned what he called “the Administration’s proposal to subsidize the deaths of unborn children.”