McConnell, McCarthy applauded for ‘unwavering commitment’ to preserve Hyde amendment, other pro-life protections in appropriations bills

Over 180 House members vow to vote against any federal funding bill that forces taxpayers to fund the killing of unborn children by abortion

WASHINGTON — As another deadline to fund the federal government approaches on February 18, 2022, 181 Members today released a letter to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy applauding the leaders’ “unwavering commitment” to ensure pro-life protections remain in all federal appropriations bills and vowing to “vote against any federal funding bill that weakens or eliminates them.”

 “Thank you for the consistent pro-life leadership you have shown even as House and Senate Democrats have demonstrated their plan to use Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Appropriations legislation to strip out longstanding pro-life protections that have been in place for decades,” wrote the 181 Members of Congress in a joint letter led by Congressional Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). 

Pro-Life Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) and Kat Cammack (R-FL), together with members of the Pro-Life Caucus and RSC, also signed the letter.“For decades, federal appropriations legislation has included language to protect taxpayer money from funding and facilitating the killing of children alive but not yet born. The most famous of these protections, the Hyde Amendment, prevents direct taxpayer funding of abortion through programs like Medicaid,” the lawmakers wrote. 

The Hyde Amendment, which is credited with saving at least 2.4 million lives, has been renewed every year since 1976 with widespread bipartisan consensus.

“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,” said Rep. Smith. “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.”

 “Removing the Hyde Amendment, the amendment that protects taxpayers from paying for abortions, is both wrong and unpopular,” said Rep. Banks. “But today’s Democrat party only caters to their far-left base who demand the government provide taxpayer-funded abortions up until the point of birth. Pro-life conservatives stand united against their radical agenda.”

In the letter, the 181 lawmakers called for “all longstanding pro-life provisions to be retained,” citing polls that have found a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and quoting then-Senator Joe Biden who wrote to a constituent: “those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”

“Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortion domestically or internationally,” the lawmakers wrote. “The consciences of health care providers who do not want to participate in abortion should be respected.  Funding should not go to international organizations that are complicit in forced abortion and involuntary sterilization.”