By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Education Coordinator
On July 29, U.S. House of Representatives voted 219-208 to exclude the Hyde Amendment from the federal budget. This means that pro-abortion leaders and officials are one step closer to forcing taxpayers—you—to pay for other people’s abortions. The vote included multiple prolife appropriation amendments like the Weldon Amendment, the Smith Amendment, and Dornan Amendment.
The Hyde Amendment has been enacted for 45 years with bipartisan support and signed by Presidents Obama and Clinton. The other amendments have all been included in federal budgets for a very long time as well.
The Weldon Amendment protects health care providers who don’t want to be involved with or aid in abortions from being discriminated against by agencies that receive federal funding.
The Smith Amendment is another important amendment to take note of being excluded from the budget. This amendment ensures that no funding from the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program is used towards abortions.
The Dornan Amendment prohibits any appropriated funds from the District of Colombia from being used towards abortions. This amendment was also removed from the budget.
Republicans in the U.S. House Representatives tried to fight the removal of these essential prolife amendments but failed in another vote of 208-217 vote.
On August 11, the focus of the fight for the Hyde Amendment shifted over to the U.S. Senate where after a 14-hour amendment marathon, a preliminary budget was also passed. The good news is that in a 50-49 vote, the Hyde Amendment was protected within the $3.5 trillion budget by all Republican Senators and Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin.
The next step to determining the fate of the prolife appropriations amendments is for the U.S. House to return from summer recess which is set to end of September 20th and take a final vote on the budget. Once the House and the Senate have both approved their final budgets, they will work to reconcile their differences and create an identical budget together.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you contact Congress as soon as possible to ensure that they know a supermajority of Americans don’t want to pay for other people’s abortions. Please also contact Senators Tim Kaine and Bob Casey who are Democrat Senators that could be persuaded. You can also contact Senator Joe Manchin and thank him for upholding the integrity of the Hyde Amendment and fighting to protect the conscience rights of taxpayers.
- Sen. Joe Manchin (202) 224-3954
- Sen. Tim Kaine (202) 224-4024
- Sen. Bob Casey (202) 224-6324
You can use our PART tool to contact Congress through e-mail and phone calls. Don’t forget to finish the calls; calls have more of an impact on your representatives.