Friday, October 07, 2016
Billy Long: Hyde Amendment saves lives
Forty years ago, 3 years after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the Hyde Amendment was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It outraged me in 1973 as a high school senior to think you could legally stop a beating heart and it still does today.
September 30, marked the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. This amendment was passed in 1976 to prevent taxpayer money from funding most abortions under certain government funded programs. As expected, the Hyde amendment caused controversy, and was later taken up by the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court upheld the Hyde Amendment with a 5-4 decision.
Though abortion tends to be a hot topic, over the years, through different polling, Americans have continually supported not having taxpayer money fund abortions.
According to the Lozier Institute, more than 2 million lives have been spared because of this amendment. The research also shows that this amendment is one of the most significant factors in decreasing abortions. According to a Marist poll, even among individuals who support abortion, 45 percent of them agree that taxpayer money should not be funding abortions.
The Hyde Amendment does much more than just save taxpayers money from funding something they might not morally believe in, this amendment saves lives.
When the government doesn’t incentivize abortion, abortions are less likely to happen and more lives are saved because of it.
Though the Hyde Amendment is crucial in reducing abortions, it still doesn’t go far enough.
Just as recently as 2015 I cosponsored a bill, H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” that would prohibit any abortions performed after 20 weeks of conception, except in the case of rape or incest. Another piece of legislation I supported was H.R. 7, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015.” This piece of legislation would prevent federal funds from being used to cover abortions under the Affordable Care Act.
The House approved both of these measures with my support. Sadly, neither one of these bills made it past the U.S. Senate.
Even though these bills are stalled in the Senate, I will continue to support all legislation that helps to decrease abortions and saves lives.