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Massive Fight to Save Hyde Amendment Begins

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For over thirty years, your federal tax dollars have not been used to pay for abortions for indigent women except in very limited circumstances. Every year, as part of the appropriations process, the Hyde Amendment (named after the late right-to-life champion, Congressman Henry Hyde) is added to the HHS Appropriations bill. Through this process, your federal tax dollars are prohibited from being used for abortions.

Enter Obama and the new Congress who appear ready to do away with the Hyde amendment. Certainly, the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would force you to pay for abortions. But now that the Congress has entered the appropriations process, there will be a massive battle over this “slice” of FOCA — the Hyde amendment.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-North Carolina) have crafted a letter to Speaker Pelosi and our own Wisconsin Congressman, Dave Obey, urging them to preserve the Hyde amendment. They write, “As Congress begins its annual appropriations process, important pro-life provisions that have long been included in appropriations bills may be in jeopardy. We believe that failure to include all of the current policies with regard to the right to life will mark a radical departure from a policy many Americans support.”

Dozens of pro-life legislators are expected to join Jordan and Shuler. Please note that more than the Hyde amendment is at stake as there are over a dozen pro-life policies folded into appropriations bills. The Hyde amendment is the most important.

Planned Parenthood states that the Hyde amendment is responsible for an 18-38% reduction in abortions. National Right to Life estimates that at least one million unborn babies have been saved by the Hyde amendment.

What will Pelosi do? And Obey? And, will Obama interject his opinion that it’s time for the Hyde amendment to go? Talk about turning back the clock. Is this the “change” the American public really wants? I think not, but we will have to fight vigorously to keep Hyde.

Barbara Lyons

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