Two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funded abortion. In this era of divided politics, there are few issues on which so many people agree.
On September 30, 1976, this bipartisan consensus became the law of the land when the Hyde Amendment passed the House of Representatives. Its impact on our nation has been lasting and profound.
The Hyde Amendment stands as a pillar in pro-life policy, but also as a reflection of the will of millions of Americans on an issue over which common ground is hard to find. Unfortunately, in what would be an unprecedented move, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for the Hyde Amendment’s repeal. That would be a giant mistake.
The Hyde Amendment acknowledges a shared recognition that abortion is not just another medical procedure. The truth is even most pro-choice Americans believe abortion should be rare. When you fund something, you make it more likely to occur. The Hyde Amendment blocks government funding so that it doesn’t encourage the practice of abortion.
The results of this policy are striking. Since the Hyde Amendment took effect, research from the Lozier Institute indicates that it has prevented more than two million abortions. The number of lives saved is roughly equivalent to the populations of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
The Hyde Amendment is morally appropriate, politically responsible and it saves lives. But it is not perfect. First of all, it is not permanent law. Each year, Congress must re-pass the Hyde Amendment language in an annual legislative drama. There are also loopholes and workarounds that need to be addressed.