PHILADELPHIA — Democrats adopted on Monday a party platform that calls for forcing Americans to pay for the abortions of others by repealing the federal Hyde Amendment.
As previously reported, the platform, which was released on July 1 and covers a variety of issues from social security to gun violence prevention to terrorism, also expresses the party’s support for repealing the Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment, which ban U.S. capital from being used to fund overseas abortions.
“Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured,” it reads.
In addition to expressing support for Planned Parenthood, the platform also calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funds from being used for abortions.
“We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people. We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment,” it says.
“No funds authorized or appropriated by federal law, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by federal law, shall be expended for any abortion,” the 1976 law reads.
Some had expressed concern over the wording of the party platform, including Kristen Day of Democrats for Life, who said that the text is not representative of Democrats who oppose abortion.
“This platform’s language just says [to us] you are no longer welcome,” she told USA Today. “This has been the general message pro-life Democrats are receiving across the country.”
“They are pro-choice because they don’t want to be infringing their opinion on others,” retired school teacher Carol Crossed also told the outlet. “Now their platform says if you don’t like abortions, too bad. You are going to pay for it anyway.”
Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat who identifies as pro-life, wrote a letter to the platform committee to outline his disagreement.
“[M]any Americans remain morally opposed to abortion, and do not wish to see their tax dollars go to pay for abortion,” he wrote.
On Tuesday, spokespersons for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stated that running mate Tim Kaine, a Roman Catholic who personally opposes abortion but believes women should have the “right to choose,” has advised that he will support the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
“It aligns the Virginia senator with Clinton and other reproductive-rights advocates, who argue that the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which primarily affects Medicaid, is an impediment for low-income women seeking abortions,” Bloomberg reported.
Just last month, Kaine told the Weekly Standard when asked about the wording, “I have traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment, but I’ll check it out.”