House Subcommittee hears testimony on the life-saving Hyde Amendment and need for Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

By Dave Andrusko

HR3504reAs NRL New Today has written about on numerous occasions, 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. Appropriately, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution today held a hearing, “The Ultimate Civil Right: Examining the Hyde Amendment and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.”

First enacted in 1976, the Hyde Amendment (named for pro-life champion Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois) is a provision attached to the annual appropriations bill that covers many federal health programs (including Medicaid). The Hyde Amendment currently prohibits the use of federal funds in those programs for abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Genevieve Plaster, Senior Policy Analyst, Charlotte Lozier Institute, testified before the subcommittee today. She concluded that the Hyde Amendment

· has enjoyed bipartisan support for 40 years,

· was re-affirmed as constitutional in 1980,

· enjoys support from nearly seven in 10 Americans (including even 51 percent of those self-identifying as “pro-choice”; 44 percent of Democrats10; 65 percent of African Americans; 61 percent of Latinos; 58 percent of millennials; and 63 percent of women11); and

· has saved an estimated two million lives.

For these compelling reasons, the protective language of the Hyde Amendment should not only be retained as enforced policy, but be codified as a permanent law.

Arina O. Grossu, Director, Center for Human Dignity, Family Research Council, testified about both the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (which passed without a dissenting vote) and how, in light of the experience since, the need for The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504/ S. 2066).

As NRL News Today reported previously, NRLC sent a letter to members of the Senate explaining why the Act was necessary.

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In the years since the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was passed

evidences have multiplied that some abortion providers do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons, especially if their “viability” cannot be proven, and do not provide them with the types of care that would be provided to premature infants who are born spontaneously. In some cases, such born-alive infants are even subjected to overt acts of deadly violence [for example, convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell].

In the letter, NRLC President Carol Tobias, NRLC Executive Director David N. O’Steen. Ph.D., and Legislative Director Douglas Johnson wrote

National Right to Life believes that it is time for Congress to act decisively to put the entire abortion industry on notice that when they treat a born-alive human person as medical waste, as a source for organ harvesting, or as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity, they will do so at grave legal peril. S. 2066/H.R. 3504 would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital.

Abortion survivor Gianna Jessen also testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. She has delivered similar testimony on other occasions, but her story remains incredibly powerful.

Many Americans have no idea that babies can even live through abortions and are often left to die. But this does happen.

I know this because I was born alive in an abortion clinic after being burned in my mother’s womb for 18 hours. My medical records clearly state the following: Born during saline abortion/April 6, 1977/6am/ 2/1/2 pounds.

Apart from Jesus himself, the only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work that morning. Had he been there, he would have ended my life by strangulation, suffocation or simply leaving me there to die. Instead, I lived and have the gift of cerebral palsy as a direct result of lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving an abortion. By the grace of God, in my case, a nurse called an ambulance and had me transferred to a hospital. That nurse saved my life and I am profoundly grateful to her for this.

The entire hearing can be viewed at judiciary.house.gov.