By Dave Andrusko
Yesterday National Right to Life blasted an abortion-laden COVID-relief bill as “a Democrat wish-list,” totally lacking Hyde Amendment protections that bar federal funding of abortion. As a consequence, the bill, signed into law today by pro-abortion President Joe Biden, has the potential to put millions—and millions– of dollars into the pockets of abortion providers.
As Jennifer Popik, JD, director of Federal Legislation, explained, the House version was bad enough. The Senate Amendments to H.R. 1319 tacked on hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent overseas, again lacking protections against the money being used to underwrite abortion.
NRLC President Carol Tobias aptly summarized the bill. “This legislation does very little to benefit the American people and will do great harm to unborn children and their mothers both here and around the world.” She added, “But pro-abortion Democrats don’t care. This bill is a thinly-disguised attempt to gut protective provisions like the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment and line the pockets of abortion providers.”
Tonight, in lieu of a State of the Union address (a date has yet to be set to address both Houses of Congress), President Biden will “talk to the nation,” in a prime time address, presumably to take a victory lap for passage of the law which had virtually no Republican support in either the House or the Senate.
“[T]he prime-time speech is in many ways an anachronism, better suited for an era when Americans had vastly fewer television options and in which a presidential address could reframe the national conversation,” writes Zeke Miller of the Associated Press.
The fragmented media landscape makes it more difficult for Biden to reach people, [Princeton History Professor Julian] Zelizer said, but that may be beside the point.
“Everything he’s doing is throwback,” said Zelizer. “It’s part of his effort to create normalcy after the last four years.”
Three quick thoughts.
First, one needn’t be a critic of President Biden to acknowledge the obvious: verbally, he has been very shaky on his feet, more so lately. No matter how controlled the environment (reading off a teleprompter), the potential for disaster looms large.
Second, “Fifty days into his presidency,” Miller writes, “Biden is experiencing a polling honeymoon that his predecessor never enjoyed.” Not a hint anywhere in the piece—which takes gratuitous shot after gratuitous shot at pro-life President Donald Trump—that virtually the entire Media Establishment, working hand in glove with Hollywood and pro-abortion congressional Democrats did everything they could to undermine the administration before President Trump even took office.
Third, there is no return to “normalcy” when even the Republican senator most willing to work with Democrats blasted pro-abortion Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for seeming “to be going out of his way to alienate the most bipartisan member of the Senate.”
For pro-abortionists, of course, it is “creat[ing] normalcy” to obliterate every pro-life initiative undertaken by the Trump administration and to treat Title X as allowing abortion funding and promotion in stark contrast to what was intended when the Title X family planning program was established.
And, of course, Biden-Harris and Democrat congressional leadership are taking dead aim at an understanding that goes back decades.
An array of long-established laws (which includes the Hyde Amendment) that created a nearly uniform policy that federal programs do not pay for abortion or subsidize health plans that include coverage of abortion, with narrow exceptions. The COVID-19 reconciliation bill dramatically departs from this longstanding policy.
It will be worth our while to watch President Biden’s address, both for what it says and, of course, for all the pro-abortion components he will omit.
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