Sept. 30 marked the 40th anniversary of Congress’ adoption of the Hyde Amendment. Named after the late Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde, this traditionally bipartisan legislative “rider” is attached to Congressional spending bills every year to prohibit federal taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortion.
One of the most important pro-life legislative achievements of the post-Roe vs. Wade era, the Hyde Amendment is simply common sense. Abortion continues to be a highly divisive question in American public life, with the country split down the middle of the pro-life/pro-choice divide.
Given its highly controverted nature, it makes sense to respect the viewpoints of millions of Americans, and not to force them to fund this procedure with their taxpayer dollars.
The Hyde Amendment is an important political issue this election cycle, since Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party (in its official platform) have pledged to repeal it. The year 2016 is the first time the Democrats have included this provision within their platform. The Republicans have continued their support of the amendment.
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I hope that pro-life and pro-choice people of good will, both Democrats and Republicans, will continue to support the important, conscience-respecting tradition of the Hyde Amendment.
John Gerardi, Executive Director, Right to Life of Central California