As a candidate for president, Biden reversed his previous support of the Hyde Amendment, saying he now supports taxpayer-funded abortion. House Democratic leaders have also said they intended to repeal the policy in 2021.
The House is scheduled to vote on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Friday evening. The $1.9 trillion package includes funding for vaccinations, testing and tracing, stimulus checks to families, and tax credits for paid sick and family leave.
The USCCB expressed its disappointment, however, noting that previous COVID bills provided economic relief and health care spending with pro-life provisions intact.
“Unfortunately, unlike previous COVID relief bills, this bill appropriates billions of taxpayer dollars that are not subject to longstanding, bi-partisan pro-life protections that are needed to prevent this funding from paying for abortions,” their website stated.
The USCCB added it is “communicating to Congress its strong opposition to any taxpayer funding of abortion as part of this legislation,” and is urging Catholics and pro-life Americans to do the same.
“Your voice is critically needed today to tell your representatives in Congress to support amendments that prevent abortion funding and to work for their inclusion in the final bill,” the conference stated.
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In a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said she and some of her fellow Republican lawmakers are attempting to include the pro-life protections in the bill, “to FIX this to reflect Congress’s long bipartisan history of supporting Hyde.”