The Hyde Amendment Is One of the Most Crucial Pro-Life Protections

Sophie Trist

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has stipulated that federal tax dollars cannot support abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the pregnant person’s life is in danger. This has protected the rights of pro-life Americans, who make up fifty percent of the population, from being forced to fund the killing of unborn children, and it also protects women relying on Medicaid from being pressured into aborting on grounds that killing a child is cheaper than giving birth to one. It is estimated that by blocking federal funds from going toward abortions, the Hyde Amendment has saved a 2.13 million lives. Two million unique, irreplaceable, infinitely valuable people, (roughly equivalent to the population of Chicago), are here today because of this life-saving piece of legislation.

Until recently, the Hyde Amendment enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress. 2016 marked a decisive shift in the Democratic Party toward abortion extremism and away from the consensus of most Americans. That year, the following language was added to the DNC platform: “We will continue to oppose, and seek to overturn, federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.” In the 2020 presidential primaries, Joe Biden distinguished himself by being the only Democratic candidate to support the Hyde Amendment, but in June, he flip-flopped, betraying the trust of millions of pro-life Americans who hoped he would be a moderating influence against the abortion extremism of his party.

Now, with abortion supporters taking the White House and both houses of Congress, pro-life Democrats must rally around leaders like Joe Mancion (D-WV) to protect the Hyde Amendment. Even the extremely pro-choice Slate Magazine acknowledges that a majority of Americans, and a plurality of Democrats, oppose public funding of abortion. According to a January 2020 Marist poll, 60% of Americans support the Hyde Amendment. Even more interestingly, the gender gap that appears in the answers to most questions about reproductive health disappears when the question regards public abortion funding, meaning that women are just as likely to support Hyde as men. A 2019 Politico/Morning Consult poll indicates that 41% of Democratic women support the Hyde Amendment, while 39% oppose it. In addition to costing potentially millions of unborn lives, repealing the Hyde Amendment is likely to hurt Democrats in the long run.

Repealing the Hyde Amendment would also be racist and classist. Due to structural inequalities in American society, the majority of women who rely on Medicaid are Black, indigenous, or people of color. It is no secret that health insurance providers, both private and public, often seek the cheapest solutions, and in this instance, a $500 abortion is far cheaper than giving birth to and raising a child. Allowing the federal government to pay for elective abortions runs the risk of seeing BIPOC women pressured into getting an abortion. The Hyde Amendment is critical to protecting communities of color.

The once-bipartisan Hyde Amendment, supported by the majority of Americans, have never been in more danger. It is critical that every pro-life American, regardless of political affiliation, become educated on Hyde and rally to save it. Americans should not have to fund violence against the smallest, most vulnerable human beings in our society. Forcing American taxpayers to fund abortion and risking the lives of BIPOC children is the direct opposite of expanding human rights.human beings in our society. Forcing American taxpayers to fund abortion and risking the lives of BIPOC children is the direct opposite of expanding human rights.