A petition led by the U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee to restore a long-standing amendment preventing taxpayer funding of abortions has garnered over 135,000 signatures. And the matter has gained urgency as four bills that provide for abortion funding are set to get a floor vote in the House of Representatives this coming week.
The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill was voted out of committee recently, without the Hyde Amendment protections against taxpayer funding of abortions.
The bishops and other pro-life activists also are calling for restoration of the Weldon Amendment to the bill, which would preserve health care professionals’ ability to opt out of participating in abortions.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called the bill “the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill that we have seen, effectively mandating healthcare professionals to participate in abortion, and forcing American citizens to pay for abortion with their tax dollars.”
Researcher Michael New in 2020 estimated that the Hyde Amendment has saved the lives of more than 2,4 million unborn children since 1976.