Monday, July 12, 2021
Rebecca Marrie Brady MSW
Friends, some things are just common sense — like the Hyde Amendment.
Henry J. Hyde was a Catholic politician who defied partisan politics. He supported social measures such as family leave legislation, and promoted what he referred to as “capitalism with a human face.” The Almanac of American Politics describes Hyde as “one of the most respected and intellectually honest members of the House.” President George W. Bush called Hyde “a tireless champion of the weak and forgotten.”
Elected to Congress a year after the tragic Roe v. Wade decision, Hyde sought to prohibit the use of federal funds for abortions by introducing an amendment to the Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill in 1976. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980 and has been renewed annually. Experts estimate that as of July 2020, the Hyde Amendment has saved approximately 2,409,311 lives.
This commonsense amendment once enjoyed bipartisan support before the Democratic party’s platform first called for its repeal in 2016. President Biden was once a supporter of Hyde. He changed his position on the campaign trail in 2019, and now his current federal budget proposal eliminates it.
Pope Francis has appealed to “all politicians, regardless of their faith convictions, to treat the defense of the lives of those who are about to be born and enter into society as the cornerstone of the common good.” If Congress won’t defend the lives of children in the womb, then at the very least, they should refrain from subsidizing their demise. To quote Hyde: “What kind of people have we become that this [procedure] is even a matter for debate?”
President Biden’s support of taxpayer-funding for abortion is not only a scandal to his fellow Catholics, but it’s out of step with the American people. A new poll suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in most or all cases after the first trimester. The majority of low-income women agree, with 55% saying they specifically support the Hyde amendment. Providing free abortions in the face of adverse circumstances is coercive. Women don’t want abortions — they want support.
In response to the current unprecedented attack against the Hyde Amendment, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a critical campaign to preserve Hyde and prevent taxpayer-funded abortion. As Congress considers their annual appropriations, they need to see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of petition signatures by July 16 in support of the Hyde Amendment.
Friends, we are our brothers’ keepers. In the words of Henry Hyde:
"When the time comes, as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I've often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God — and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there'll be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world — and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, 'Spare him, because he loved us!'"
Don’t miss your chance to make a difference — by such a simple action we can save so many lives. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, head over to notaxpayerabortion.com and join your voice to Catholics nationwide as we unanimously call on our elected officials to retain this commonsense measure, oppose any appropriations bill that expands taxpayer funding of abortion, and instead support funding that serves the common good of all, including mothers and their unborn children.
PS: Join the movement protecting women from reproductive coercion and offering real, life-affirming support through our five pregnancy help centers in the Archdiocese of Miami. Visit respectlifemiami.org to learn more and to get involved in this life-saving ministry. Together we can build a culture of life and civilization of love where abortion becomes unthinkable.