Speaker Pelosi said in August that she would not include the Hyde Amendment on spending bills in 2021. President-elect Biden has promised to undo the pro-life policy as well.
"I think it would be a terrible political mistake," said outgoing Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) to CNA last week. He noted that "a substantial majority of Americans support the Hyde Amendment," and that "the party really put itself on the defensive" by trying to repeal it.
"I'm not sure if the votes would even be there in the House, much less the Senate, to get rid of the Hyde Amendment," Lipinski said.
Nevertheless, he added, pro-lifers will have to be vigilant against the possibility of such a repeal.
Another consequence of the elections is the further entrenchment of the pro-life lobby within the Republican Party.
With the defeat of Lipinski (D-Ill.) in his March primary, and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) being unseated in the general election, there will be no House Democrats next year with the endorsement of Democrats for Life of America.
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) also voted with pro-lifers some of the time, but lost his race as well. McAdams, Lipinski and Peterson were the only House Democrats not to receive an "F" rating from the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. While Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) is known to sometimes buck support pro-life bills, he was not endorsed by Democrats for Life, and had a "F" rating from Susan B. Anthony List.
Lipinski warned that the pro-life cause should not be concentrated in one political party, but admitted that it has become harder to run for Congress as a pro-life Democrat.
"I think it's bad for the pro-life movement if this becomes a one-party issue," he said, noting that Republicans can more easily "take pro-life voters for granted."
"I really think there's going to have to be a concerted effort by pro-life groups to try to get some Democrats elected to Congress. And that's going to mean getting involved in Democratic primaries," he said.
Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.