By Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Today marks 40 years since the life-saving Hyde Amendment was first enacted. This annual appropriations amendment stops taxpayer dollars from being used to fund most abortions and abortion coverage through government programs like Medicaid.
Thanks to new analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute we now know that as many as two million children — some much older now — are alive today because of the Hyde amendment.
Prior to enactment of Hyde, the Medicaid program paid for about 300,000 abortions annually. Research, including by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, has long shown that stopping taxpayer-funded abortion reduces the abortion rate. In an analysis released just this week, the Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that the Hyde amendment saves as many as 60,000 lives each year.
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 this law.
Since the first bitter and protracted battles over this policy, the Hyde amendment has generally, if begrudgingly, been accepted as the status quo. President Bill Clinton — who supported partial-birth abortion — and President Barack Obama — who pledged to veto a bill protecting children born alive after abortion, both consistently signed the Hyde amendment into law.
Yet Hillary Clinton represents a new era of pro-abortion extremism.
Not only does she fall in party line with her opposition to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the ban on sex selection abortion, and the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, she will have an abortion litmus-test for every judge and justice. And in a new assault on innocent human life, she has vowed to decimate the Hyde Amendment and fund abortion on demand using taxpayer dollars.
In 1980 the Hyde Amendment narrowly overcame a constitutional challenge in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. If Hillary Clinton appoints just one justice, the Hyde amendment will be nullified.
Hillary Clinton is outside of the mainstream. Today, more Americans support the sanctity of life and oppose taxpayer funding for abortions than ever.
America has an ever-growing majority that believes our government should not fund abortion. A July 2016 Marist poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion — including 45 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice.”
The Hyde Amendment is not extreme. Hillary Clinton is.
Hillary Clinton is so extreme and outside the mainstream that when MSNBC’s Chuck Todd asked her in an April 3 interview: “When, and if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” Hillary Clinton fired back: “unborn persons don’t have constitutional rights .” Mrs. Clinton acknowledges that unborn children are persons, but denies them their right to life and wants taxpayers to pay for their destruction.
When Hillary Clinton was awarded the Margaret Sanger award by Planned Parenthood in 2009, she said she was “in awe” of Margaret Sanger, the infamous founder of Planned Parenthood. Shockingly, its American affiliate alone claims responsibility for the death of over seven million babies.
In her 2009 speech Mrs. Clinton also said she admired Sanger for her vision and that Sanger’s work here in the United States and across the globe was not done. “Not done” means more abortions, paid for by the taxpayer, and an end to conscience rights for those who don’t agree.
If we lose the Hyde Amendment our country will be carrying out Sanger’s eugenic legacy — incentivizing the destruction of the poor and vulnerable by paying for their death.
There are nearly 60 million Americans missing from 43 years of legal abortion. That’s 60 million lives with potential that have been snuffed out by state-sanctioned killing.
Hillary Clinton poses an existential threat to the welfare and well-being of unborn children and their mothers in the United States and around the world.
Rather than expand the culture of death and shred the Hyde amendment — as Hillary Clinton promises — women and men of conscience have a duty to protect the weakest and most vulnerable from the violence of abortion.
Editor’s note. Rep. Smith is co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus. This first appeared in the Washington Times.