Is the End of Hyde in Sight?


Recently the House Appropriations Committee approved the federal fiscal budget for 2022. The budget omitted both the Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to cover abortion or fund health plans that cover abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. The Weldon Amendment protects the conscience rights of medical providers by preventing them from being forced to participate in an abortion.
An attempt was made by Republican representatives to make Hyde permanent. All 218 Democrats in the House approved a motion that prevented that Act from being debated. Given how Democrats voted in that measure and that they have the majority it is reasonable to assume that the House will pass the budget.
The Hyde Amendment used to be a source of bipartisan agreement between Republicans and Democrats. Then-Senator Biden supported it for many years until changing his mind when he ran for his party’s presidential nomination. In addition, many polls suggest that most Americans favor the amendment. At the same time state legislatures in 16 states have passed pro-life laws that restrict abortion. We can hope that the budget will not pass the Senate since the Republicans have the votes to block it. Still, as each year passes, the survival of the Hyde Amendment becomes more tenuous.


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