For the past 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has prevented federal taxation dollars from paying for abortions.
While not a statute, the amended has become a routine addition to federal budgets and a thorn in the side of reproductive rights advocates. For the most proportion, however, members of both parties have accepted its place in American politics and haven’t put up too much of a fight so long as it remains merely a rider to be renewed on an annual basis and not a permanent law.
On Tuesday, the House of Representative will vote on a bill that would elevate the Hyde Amendment’s status from budget rider to law.
On Jan. 13 th, Rep. Chris Smith( R-New Jersey) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. It’s expected the full House will convene to vote on the bill which is likely to pass, as it did in 2013 and 2015.
Less certain, however, is what opportunity the bill stands in the Senate, where it has been voted down after passing the House in each of the previous two strives. To make it through the Senate, 52 Republican and eight Democrats would have to join forces to set the bill on the president’s desk.
Should it pass both chambers of Congress, President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into statute, fulfilling a campaign promise.
In September, Trump made a series of pledges aimed at courting anti-choice activists. Among those promises were plans to nominate “pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme court, ” sign the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into statute, defund Planned Parenthood “as long as they continue to perform abortions, ” and yes to attain the Hyde Amendment permanent.
Early in the campaign, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke out against the Hyde Amendment.
You may be asking yourself why it matters whether or not something that’s been in effect for 40 years becomes permanent or not and that’s fair.
The truth is the Hyde Amendment, while a consistent part of American life in the post-Roe v. Wade world, disproportionately harms the 15. 6 million low-income women who rely on Medicaid for their health care . By inducing the bans permanent, it becomes significantly more difficult to overrule( which would, again, require a majority in the House, a supermajority of 60 referendums in the Senate, and the signature of the president to change ).
Planned Parenthood alerts the Hyde Amendment may result in women foregoing necessities like electricity, heat, and food in order to save funds to pay for an abortion out-of-pocket. Additionally, it may lead to dangerous attempts to self-induce an abortion.
Making the Hyde Amendment permanent would be a step backward for reproductive rights. Call your representative and senators and urge them to vote “no” on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act .
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