During a congressional hearing this week on “abortion affordability,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who will lead the House Appropriations Committee beginning next year, argued that the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits using taxpayer dollars for elective abortions, is “discriminatory” because it places a financial obstacle in front of low income mothers seeking an abortion.
“The Hyde Amendment is a discriminatory policy, and for more than 40 years, it has been routinely extended every year as a legislative rider,” she stated on Tuesday, “but the time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo, [and] view it through the lens of how it impacts communities of color.”
DeLauro noted that 33 states also deny funding for abortion, remarking that “as a result, the millions of economically insecure women in these states are hostage to their geography.”
She explained that out-of-pocket costs for an abortion range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the type of abortion and the location. If childcare, time off work and travel are added expenses, then the cost of an abortion is even higher, being unaffordable for some.
DeLauro asserted that women who are not able to obtain desired abortions are more likely to stay with an abusive partner, to lose their self-esteem and to lack plans for the future.
“The inequities in our country’s healthcare system that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic all further expose the impact of the Hyde Amendment,” she said. “All of these issues deny the humanity of people of color and their ability to do well for their families and their communities.”
“Now is the time to empower all women to make deeply personal life decisions without politicians inserting themselves into the doctor’s office,” DeLauro opined.
However, committee ranking member Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who also spoke during the virtual hearing, conversely made known his “unwavering support for the Hyde Amendment.”
“The Hyde Amendment protects the conscience rights of the great majority Americans who are opposed to publicly-funded abortion for religious, moral or simply fiscal reasons,” he said. “Hyde leaves the people and the legislatures of all 50 states free to provide state funds for abortions if they wish. In fact, most states have voluntarily decided to follow Hyde’s policy, sometimes by a direct vote of the people.”
“Rescinding the Hyde Amendment would impose a pro-abortion funding policy on states that have decided against it,” Cole explained. “Hyde allows states to choose whether or not to choose to fund elective abortions with taxpayer dollars, and the people and elected representatives of 34 states have voluntarily chosen not to do so.”
He said if the amendment were repealed, abortion would likely become a “service” that all states are required to fund as a requirement to participate in the Medicaid program.
Cole also sought to dispel the “insidious falsehood” that abortions are necessary to help impoverished and Black women succeed in life.
“Most Americans who support the Hyde Amendment believe that abortion is the intentional destruction of innocent human life. It’s not healthcare for women,” he said. “Refusing to cooperate with, pay for, the destruction of someone’s child is not an action against that person but for them and their community.”
“Americans should want life for poor women, women of color, and all women and their children,” he continued. “As stewards of the federal tax dollar, we cannot and should not participate in encouraging a choice for taxpayer subsidized abortion.”
Cole said that instead, the focus should be on offering prenatal care, well baby care and support for mothers to take provide for their children.
“Abortion capitulates to despair and says there is no hope for the women and her child” and could be seen as racist, he lamented, since so many Black women obtain abortions and organizations like Planned Parenthood often open offices in minority neighborhoods.
He stated that repealing the Hyde Amendment means “more Black lives lost,” which is counter-productive to current discussions about racial injustice in the country.
As previously reported, Joe Biden has stated that if he takes office, one of his legislative priorities is the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
As previously reported, Christians throughout history have decried abortion as murder, no matter the reason. The late preacher Lee Roy Shelton wrote in “The Crimes of Our Times” in a section on abortion:
“When killing anyone, the murderer is guilty of taking the life which God has given, and therefore he is ‘playing God’ by saying when and how a man should die. But God doesn’t look lightly upon those who try to take His place.”
“God has given us the Sixth Commandment as a fence about human life to preserve it, for it is sacred to Him. Yes, the Bible declares human life to be sacred. It is a divine creation, mysterious and magnificent in its beginning and possibility, utterly beyond the control or comprehension of any human being. It is never to be taken away at the will of anyone, for how can they tell the full meaning of that life and what it will bring forth?”
“The revelation of God made to man out of His blessed Word proves that He has purposes for every individual and for the [human] race, stretching far beyond the present moment or manifestation; and to terminate a single life is to set yourselves up as wiser and superior to God. The immensity of the issues of death is so great that there can be no sin against humanity, and accordingly, against God, greater than that of taking a human life.”
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