Hyde Amendment Stays

submitted by Anna-Marie Visser, Director of Communication/Education, Right to Life of Michigan

News on the Hyde Amendment has gone quiet for the past few months due to Congress passing resolutions to continue negotiations for the 2022 fiscal budget.

The future of the Hyde Amendment became unknown after President Biden didn’t include it in his 2022 fiscal budget proposal last summer. In July of 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted against the amendment in a 219-208 vote.

Once the House voted, then the budget proposal got sent to the Senate who voted on August 11th to preserve the Hyde amendment. These votes were preliminary votes but were important to take note of because they gave some indication on what the final vote was going to be. 

The house and senate could not come to an agreement on the appropriation amendments so continuing resolutions had to be passed so that negotiation on dividing topics could be worked out.

Negotiation after the final vote started in September of 2021 and came to an end on March 11 just before a government shutdown with the Hyde Amendment intact thanks to all Republicans who held firm and to Senator Joe Manchin who worked hard to uphold the appropriation amendment even against party opposition.

Senator Joe Manchin was quoted in by the press saying “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone,” and he was referring to the Hyde Amendment.

What is so special about this amendment that Congress would negotiate for months and risk a government shutdown over it?

For the past 45 years, the Hyde Amendment has been a part of the budget and has bipartisan support from every Democrat and Republican president since 1976, up until Biden.

This amendment ensures that federal taxpayers are not funding abortions. The majority of Americans feel strongly that they should not have to pay for someone else’s abortion, putting aside their personal beliefs on abortion.

The government funding bill also included the Weldon Amendment which also wasn’t included in Biden’s proposal last year. The Weldon Amendment protects health care providers who received federal funding from being forced to perform or aid in abortions.

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case and the never-ending news stories on states changing abortion laws have created an unknown future in the prolife movement but one thing is for sure, Michigan taxpayers will not be paying for abortions this year.