Hyde Saves Lives

For more than 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has ensured that Americans are not forced to pay for abortion-on-demand with their tax dollars. The process of keeping taxpayers out of the abortion business  began with the first Hyde Amendment (which applied to Medicaid) and has since been applied to other federal programs through additional amendments called Helms, Weldon, Dornan, and more.

But now the Hyde Amendment and those like it are under attack.

President Biden, who supported these measures for decades in Congress, now wants to repeal Hyde and similar amendments. Your voice is urgently needed.

Jump to a section to learn more about the Hyde Family of Amendments:

The Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated

2,437,231 LIVES

from abortion since 1976

(That's enough people to fill more than 36 NFL stadiums)

What is the Hyde Amendment?

The Hyde Amendment is language that gets added to spending bills (a “rider”) in order to stop the use of taxpayer funds for abortion or for health insurance coverage that includes abortion – it protects Americans from being complicit in the brutality of abortion through their taxpayer dollars. The first Hyde Amendment applied to Medicaid, but additional amendments have since been offered to disentangle taxpayer funding for abortion from other federal funding streams.

First introduced in 1976 spending bills by Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois, the amendment stopped federal funds from paying for abortion on demand after the Roe v. Wade decision. He believed this amendment aligned with other historic legislation to defend unalienable rights.

As a rider, the Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law. It must be—and has been—approved by vote with bipartisan support in every federal funding bill since 1976. Amidst legal challenges in its early years, the Hyde Amendment was affirmed as constitutional in 1980 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Harris v. McRae.

The Hyde Amendment and Hyde-family of amendments do two vital things:

  • Reduces abortions, which saves lives. Over the past four decades, the original Hyde Amendment alone has prevented over two million abortions. Nearly 2.5 million people are alive today because of this life-saving policy.
  • Ensures tax dollars do not support or enable the abortion industry at home or abroad. This bright line of separation is essential.

The Hyde Amendment contains exceptions for abortions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Learn More:

“For over two centuries of our national history, we have struggled to create a society of inclusion — we keep widening the circle of those for whom we are responsible — the aged, the infirm, the poor. Slaves were freed, women were enfranchised, civil-rights and voting-rights acts were passed, our public spaces made accessible to the handicapped, Social Security for the elderly — all in the name of widening the circle of inclusion and protection.

This great trajectory in our national history has been shattered by Roe v. Wade and its progeny. By denying an entire class of human beings the welcome and protection of our laws, we have betrayed the best in our tradition.”

– Congressman Henry Hyde

“For over two centuries of our national history, we have struggled to create a society of inclusion — we keep widening the circle of those for whom we are responsible — the aged, the infirm, the poor. Slaves were freed, women were enfranchised, civil-rights and voting-rights acts were passed, our public spaces made accessible to the handicapped, Social Security for the elderly — all in the name of widening the circle of inclusion and protection.

This great trajectory in our national history has been shattered by Roe v. Wade and its progeny. By denying an entire class of human beings the welcome and protection of our laws, we have betrayed the best in our tradition.”

– Congressman Henry Hyde

“For over two centuries of our national history, we have struggled to create a society of inclusion — we keep widening the circle of those for whom we are responsible — the aged, the infirm, the poor. Slaves were freed, women were enfranchised, civil-rights and voting-rights acts were passed, our public spaces made accessible to the handicapped, Social Security for the elderly — all in the name of widening the circle of inclusion and protection.

This great trajectory in our national history has been shattered by Roe v. Wade and its progeny. By denying an entire class of human beings the welcome and protection of our laws, we have betrayed the best in our tradition.”

– Congressman Henry Hyde

“For over two centuries of our national history, we have struggled to create a society of inclusion — we keep widening the circle of those for whom we are responsible — the aged, the infirm, the poor. Slaves were freed, women were enfranchised, civil-rights and voting-rights acts were passed, our public spaces made accessible to the handicapped, Social Security for the elderly — all in the name of widening the circle of inclusion and protection.

This great trajectory in our national history has been shattered by Roe v. Wade and its progeny. By denying an entire class of human beings the welcome and protection of our laws, we have betrayed the best in our tradition.”

– Congressman Henry Hyde

The Hyde Family

The original Hyde Amendment is not the only measure designed to save lives and protect pro-life Americans from forced complicity with the injustice of abortion. Below is a non-exhaustive family tree of the amendments and measures that make up the Hyde family:

Democrats Have Historically Supported the Hyde Amendment

The Hyde Amendment has long enjoyed the support of both Republican and Democratic voters, legislators, and presidents, including Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. It was signed into law by each of them and by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

In 1994, a Delaware constituent wrote to then-Senator Joe Biden, “Please don’t force me to pay for abortions against my conscience.” Biden responded, “I agree with you… I will continue to abide by the same principle that has guided me throughout my 21 years in the Senate: those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them. As you may know, I have consistently — on no fewer than 50 occasions — voted against federal funding of abortions.”

As recently as 2006, Biden was on the record opposing taxpayer funding of abortion, saying, “I do not vote for funding for abortion… I won’t support public funding.”

But after a series of flip-flops in May and June 2019, Biden came out against the Hyde Amendment, even though he voted in favor of legislation protecting Hyde in his days in the U.S. Senate.

Repealing the Hyde amendment would undo decades of bipartisan support and would thwart the will of the majority of Americans who oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

“Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”

– Joe Biden in 1994

“If I believe heath care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”

– Joe Biden in 2019

“Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”

– Joe Biden in 1994

“If I believe heath care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”

– Joe Biden in 2019

“Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”

– Joe Biden in 1994

“If I believe heath care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”

– Joe Biden in 2019

“Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”

– Joe Biden in 1994

“If I believe heath care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”

– Joe Biden in 2019

Hyde Amendment Under Threat

Emboldened by the Biden-Harris administration, congressional Democrats want to kill the Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to fund abortion on demand.

Radical Democrats in the 117th Congress have already blocked Hyde protections in the so-called “American Rescue Plan,” forcing Americans to pay for abortions under the guise of COVID-19 relief. This was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion since Obamacare.

Now, their sights are set on this year’s appropriations spending bills, and they are determined to remove any longstanding policies that have restricted funds from being spent on abortion services and abortion coverage.

Learn More:

#HelloHyde

The Hyde Amendment’s life-saving impact is hard to overstate. One in every nine people born on Medicaid since 1976 is alive because of the Hyde Amendment. Meet Americans who are alive today thanks to the Hyde Amendment:

Stargift Thomas
“For forty years, the Hyde Amendment has affirmed that lives like mine are worth living.”
Gina Mallica
“Low-income children deserve a chance at life, not a government-subsidized death.”

Polling

Polling consistently shows that a strong majority of Americans are opposed to being forced to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.

Oppose Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

58% of voters – including 31% of Democrats, 34% of self-described pro-choice voters, and 65% of Independents – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

Oppose Funding Abortions under Medicaid

55% of voters – including 35% of Democrats and 57% of Independents – oppose using federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under Medicaid (40% strongly oppose).

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Photo Credits:
Joe Biden: Gage Skidmore on Flickr; Football stadium: monsterjoke on Vecteezy; Henry Hyde: National Portrait Gallery