The House of Representatives has passed a budget for fiscal 2022 that does not include the Hyde Amendment. This is the first time a budget has been proposed without the Hyde Amendment in 45 years. The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, was proposed by the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), and prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions, except in cases of rape or incest. The Amendment has enjoyed bi-partisan support in Congress until recently, as the Democrats have taken a sharp turn to the progressive left. The Democrats argue that the Hyde Amendment is “racist and sexist” because it denies supposedly essential healthcare services to women and to women of color, who are disproportionately impacted by poverty. Republicans counter that the issue is not the availability of abortion, per se, but whether taxpayers should be forced to pay for it. President Biden supported the Hyde Amendment during his entire tenure in the U. S. Senate, but he has since shifted to opposing it. Interestingly, Biden says that, as a Catholic, he opposes abortion, but he doesn’t feel that he should force his beliefs on the nation. Yet, he has no apparent objections to forcing pro-life taxpayers to pay for a procedure we regard as the murder of a child in the womb.
Also left out of the budget passed by the House were the Weldon Amendment and the Helms Amendment. The Weldon Amendment allows healthcare providers to refuse to participate in abortions if it violates their conscience. The Helm Amendment restricts the use of federal funds for international abortions. The rejection of the Weldon Amendment is particularly distressing for me, as a nurse, because I certainly don’t want to have anything to do with abortions, chemical or otherwise.
It’s highly unlikely that a budget without the Hyde Amendment will pass the Senate. Republicans have traditionally favored Hyde, and so do some Democrats. So, the chances of such a budget getting the required 60 votes is low. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has informed pro-life groups that he has no intention of supporting a budget without the Hyde Amendment. Likely, the Senate version will also include the Weldon and Helms Amendments. While the Dems have taken a sharp turn left, the nation has not. According to a Marist poll from January, 2021, 58% of Americans oppose taxpayer funded abortions, while 38% support it. Those numbers haven’t changed much since a Politico/Harvard poll conducted during the 2016 presidential race showed that 58% opposed taxpayer funded abortions, and 36% supported it.
A president and a party that ran on the claim that they wanted to unite the nation after the divisive Trump years is not being true to that promise when they propose to shove policies abhorrent to more than half the nation down their throats. The Democrats have lost touch with the mainstream. There is no reason to incite even more the divisive culture war by demanding that pro-life Americans pay for abortions. Abortion is not a topic on which many Americans are lukewarm. Most either regard abortion as murder, or they regard it as an innocuous medical procedure. There’s little middle ground. On matters of life and death, there shouldn’t be.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.