On the importance of preserving Hyde and other pro-life appropriations riders

14 pro-life amendments were ruled out of order by the Democratic majority”

By Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Editor’s note. The following remarks were delivered today in the House of Representatives.

Madame Speaker, the bill under consideration removes several longstanding pro-life protections and advances provisions that would force U.S. taxpayers to pay for abortion-on-demand.

It removes the Hyde Amendment which protects federal taxpayers from being forced to fund elective abortions—an agreement that has received bipartisan support since 1976.  It also removes the Weldon Amendment which prevents discrimination against health care providers who do not want to participate in abortion.

Similarly, the rule under consideration precludes even a vote on the Cole amendment, which would restore the Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment.   

The rule also denies a vote to my amendment, which would restore a law I authored in 1983—38 years ago—prohibiting funding of abortion under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Like the Hyde Amendment, that law must be renewed every year.

A total of 14 pro-life amendments were ruled out of order by the Democratic majority.

All is not lost, however. I remain hopeful – confident – that the Senate will reinstate all current pro-life protections, like the Hyde Amendment.

Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize abortion nor should anyone or any entity be coerced against their conscience to perform or facilitate the killing of an unborn child.

The Hyde Amendment has saved more than 2.4 million lives—about 60,000 per year since it was first enacted.

If retained in law, more innocent lives will be protected.

 It is time, I believe, for more of us to face the harsh reality of what abortion actually does to children and look beyond the sound bites and slogans.

No one in the media ever bothers to expose the violent methods of abortion that include dismemberment of a child’s fragile body, including decapitation, and that one of the drugs in RU–486 starves the baby to death.

Or that unborn babies killed by abortion at 20 weeks or later experience excruciating suffering and physical pain. And until rendered unconscious or dead by these hideous procedures, the child feels the pain of every cut according to medical experts in life-enhancing prenatal surgery.

Abortion is not health care unless one construes the precious life of an unborn child to be analogous to a tumor to be excised or a disease to be vanquished—pregnancy is not a disease.

Mr. Biden once wrote constituents, explaining his support for laws against funding for abortion, by saying ‘‘it would protect both the woman and her unborn child.’’

Mr. Biden went on to say ‘‘those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.’’ I agree. Most Americans agree. 

Over the years, the polls have consistently shown that Americans do not support taxpayer funded abortion.  

The January 2021 Marist poll found that by a margin of 58% to 38% Americans oppose taxpayer funded abortion.  

The Marist poll found that a supermajority of 65% of Independents oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

 Unborn babies need the President of the United States and Members of Congress to be their friend and advocate, not powerful adversaries.