The Hyde Amendment, named for the late Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, was first enacted in 1976, three years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Exceptions were later added to the policy for cases involving rape, incest, or maternal mortality risk.
Since the amendment is not permanent law, it must be attached to individual appropriations bills or it will not take effect.
The U.S. bishops’ conference has called on lawmakers to preserve the Hyde Amendment and is circulating a petition in support of the pro-life policy which currently has more than 130,000 signatures.
In January, Pelosi said that pro-lifers who voted for former President Donald Trump because of the abortion issue gave her “great grief as a Catholic,” and also defended the use of contraception.
During a podcast with former senator and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Pelosi said that pro-lifers who chose to vote for Trump “were willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”
In a subsequent statement, the archbishop of San Francisco said that “No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion.”
“Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop,” Cordileone said.
Pelosi has long supported legal abortion. In June, she told a reporter that “I am a big supporter of Roe v. Wade. I am a mother of five children in six years. I think I have some standing on this issue, as to respecting a woman’s right to choose.”
In May, Pelosi said she was “pleased” with a Vatican letter to the U.S. bishops which addressed Communion for pro-abortion politicians. She claimed that the Vatican instructed the bishops not to be “divisive” on the issue.
In response, Cordileone said that the Vatican actually promoted “dialogue” between bishops and pro-abortion politicians, “to help them understand the grave evil they are helping to perpetrate and accompany them to a change of heart.”
“I’m happy to know that Speaker Pelosi said she is pleased with the letter,” the archbishop said.
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“Speaker Pelosi’s positive reaction” to the letter, he noted, “raises hope that progress can be made in this most serious matter.”