By Dave Andrusko
It only seems right. As long as the “mainstream media” keeps lamenting/bashing/caricaturing H.R.3—the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act”—we will keep trying to clear away the rhetorical underbrush.
Yesterday’s New York Times editorial, “New Attacks on Women’s Rights,” is typical. H.R. 3 really isn’t what its authors say it’s is—cutting off the federal funding pipeline to PPFA and its ilk—it’s really about [fill in the blank].
But…it is what it is. As National Right to Life explained in a letter to the House, “H.R. 3 would codify the principles of the Hyde Amendment on a permanent, government-wide basis, applicable to both longstanding federal health programs and to the new programs created by the PPAC” (ObamaCare).
This is supported by every public opinion poll that has asked whether the respondents opposed taxpayer funding of abortion [answer, yes!].
The Times and similar accounts can pretend there is a secret agenda because it cavalierly insists (for example) that “The federal Hyde Amendment has long barred federal financing of abortion.” The Times never gets tired of saying this untruth because it so often goes unchallenged.
At the risk of saying this yet again, the impact of the Hyde Amendment is limited to funds appropriated through the annual Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. Not only must that be re-inacted each year, it (a) doesn’t cover programs funded through other funding streams, and (b) doesn’t address the damage done by ObamaCare.
Interestingly, the very end of the editorial acknowledges that Hyde must be renewed annually but of course does not mentionthat the Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment 31 years ago!
The editorial also criticizes H.R. 3 because it would “permanently extend the prohibition on the District of Columbia from using locally raised revenue to provide abortion care that was imposed through fiscal 2011 as part of the budget compromise struck last month.” This misses a central truth of our Constitution: The District of Columbia is a federal jurisdiction, and its entire operating budget is appropriated by Congress.