Biden pushes for taxpayer-funded abortion nationwide in 2025 budget plan

Biden Hyde When Biden was a senator (pictured with former Rep. Henry Hyde), he consistently supported and voted for the Hyde Amendment, which banned federal spending on abortion. | Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden is calling for taxpayer-funded abortion nationwide and more funding for a program that funnels money to Planned Parenthood facilities in his 2025 budget plan unveiled last week.

The $7.3 trillion budget would eliminate two safeguards that prevent taxpayer-funded abortion: the Hyde Amendment and the Dornan Amendment. Both amendments have been included in federal budget bills for decades, but the president’s proposal leaves them out completely. His plan would also increase funding for the Title X family planning program, which funnels millions of dollars to the abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

“Since flip-flopping on taxpayer-funded abortion to run for president, Biden has lost any resistance to his party’s pro-abortion activist wing,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a statement.

“Democrats’ ongoing assault on Hyde proves their commitment to abortion above all, as they continue pushing unlimited abortion nationwide, throwing out long-standing, bipartisan consensus for the sake of their abortion lobby allies,” she added.

The president’s message accompanying his budget lists “defending and protecting reproductive rights and health care” in his section about investing in the American people. It criticizes pro-life laws passed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and urges congressional action on legislation “restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law,” which would mandate legal abortion nationwide.

In a shift from long-standing precedent, the budget proposal would erase the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited direct taxpayer funding for most abortions for nearly half of a century. If this plan were enacted, federal agencies could legally fund elective abortions with tax dollars. This could include expanding Medicaid to cover abortions, which funded hundreds of thousands of abortions every year before the amendment was adopted in 1980.

Biden’s budget proposal would also eliminate the Dornan Amendment, which prevents local tax revenue received in Washington, D.C., from directly funding most abortions. This protection has been in place for more than 30 years.

Jenny Popik, the legislative director for National Right to Life, told CNA that the elimination of these amendments is the “most sweeping [and] dramatic departure from current law” contained in the budget proposal.

“This would be an enormous funding stream that would be used to [perform] and fund abortion,” Popik warned.

When Biden was a senator, he consistently supported and voted for the Hyde Amendment. He first shifted his position and called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment during his 2020 presidential campaign.

Many pro-abortion advocates and Democratic lawmakers have voiced opposition to the Hyde Amendment in recent years even though it received bipartisan support when it was introduced. In 2021, House Democrats passed a Biden spending package that excluded the amendment, but the safeguard was re-added amid pushback in the Senate. Republican lawmakers are expected to fight for its inclusion in the 2025 budget.

Although some spending provisions for the 2024 budget are still being debated in Congress, efforts to remove the Hyde Amendment for the 2024 fiscal year were defeated.

The budget would also increase funding for the Title X family planning program by more than 36% from $286 million to $390 million. The program does not directly fund abortions but feeds millions of dollars to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to provide contraception, sexually transmitted disease screenings, and other services. It would also include $101 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program, which provides grants to Planned Parenthood and other organizations to provide their versions of sex education to teenagers.

Popik expressed concerns about federal funding being directed to organizations that provide abortion even if the money cannot be directly used to provide abortion.

“Once you start mixing those funds, it’s very difficult to stop … the bad actors,” Popik said.

The budget would further include more than $3 billion to promote gender equity and equality internationally. The appendix included by the Biden administration would allow the Department of State to “promote gender equality” in other countries. It’s unclear whether this could be used to promote abortion, but the language does not specifically reference abortion and federal law prohibits funding to perform or promote abortion internationally.

Biden has made his support for abortion a key element of his 2024 reelection campaign. He said during the 2024 State of the Union address that he intends to establish nationwide abortion rules that would overturn pro-life laws in Republican states if he has congressional support.

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“If you, the American people, send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again,” Biden said at the time.

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