Washington D.C., Mar 17, 2021 / 08:00 am
The group Democrats for Life of America announced on Tuesday that they will organize a nationwide “Day of Action” in support of the Hyde Amendment.
Named for the late congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois, the Hyde Amendment is longstanding federal policy that prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for elective abortions. However, the policy is not permanent law and must be attached to individual appropriations bills in order to take effect.
House Democratic leaders have pushed for the repeal of the policy in recent years, however, including a group of House members who asked President Joe Biden to leave the policy out of his budget request for the 2022 fiscal year. Biden himself reversed his support for the Hyde Amendment in 2019, and now opposes it.
Last week, the House passed a nearly $2 trillion COVID relief bill without including the Hyde Amendment, a departure from last year’s CARES Act which included the abortion funding restrictions and which received bipartisan support.
In response, Democrats for Life of America is organizing a national Day of Action on April 10, encouraging supporters to contact their members of Congress and urge them to defend the Hyde Amendment.
“We just need as many people to speak up as possible right now,” Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, told CNA in an interview.
“Hyde has saved so many lives by not paying for abortion. When you look at states like California and New Jersey - they both pay for abortion - they have some of the highest abortion rates in the nation. So if you allow more federal funding for abortion more lives are going to be lost,” Day said.
Day told CNA that “this COVID relief bill should not set precedent.”