By Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
On September 30, 1976, an amendment by pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde to prevent federal Medicaid funds from paying for abortions was enacted. Today, 40 years later we celebrate the over 2 million lives that have been saved as a result of the policy.
According to research by Dr. Michael New at the Charlotte Lozier Institute–Hyde @ 40: Analyzing the Impact of the Hyde Amendment, this rider to the annual Health and Human Services (HHS) Labor appropriations sponsored by Henry Hyde was one of the first major pro-life legislative victories in the US as well as a judicial victory when it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980.
The Hyde Amendment is widely recognized as having a significant impact on the number of abortions in the United States continuing to help save more than 60,000 lives a year-1 in 9-as reported by New.
One need only look at the actions of pro-abortion activists who seek to end the policy to appreciate its deep pro-life impact along with the fact that the Democratic Party’s Platform seeks repeal of the Hyde Amendment along with most Democrats in Congress.
Pro-life advocates are using the anniversary to introduce men and women, girls and boys who are alive today thanks to the Hyde Amendment. The Hello Hyde project highlights the fact that Medicaid saves lives and ensures healthy mothers and babies.
On this day we also we remember with thanksgiving the late Rep. Henry Hyde and his faithful commitment to saving the lives of the “least of these”. National Right to Life’s Dave Andrusko recalls that when President George W. Bush presented Rep. Hyde with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he said that Rep. Hyde “was a gallant champion of the weak and forgotten, and a fearless defender of life in all its seasons.”
Henry Hyde was a gifted orator who during the House debate on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2000 eloquently argued:
“This is not a debate about religious doctrine or even about public policy options. It is a debate about our understanding of human dignity, what it means to be a member of the human family, even though tiny, powerless and unwanted. … We are knee deep in a culture of death. … Look, in this advanced democracy, in the year 2000, is it our crowning achievement that we have learned to treat people as things? Our moment in history is marked by a mortal conflict between a culture of life and a culture of death. God put us in the world to do noble things, to love and to cherish our fellow human beings, not to destroy them. Today we must choose sides.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Hyde’s successor as chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, reflected on 40 years of the Hyde amendment in congressional remarks:
“I remember the day several years ago when my friend and author of the amendment, Henry Hyde of Illinois, first learned that about one million children were alive because of his amendment. He was overcome with joy knowing that a million mothers were spared the agony of post abortion pain, a million children were alive and well, growing up, going to school, playing sports, dating, marrying and having kids of their own. Today that number is estimated at two million-all because abortion subsidies have been prohibited by law.”
Read the latest tweets on the celebration of 40 years of Hyde at #HelloHyde.