It is currently unclear whether President Joe Biden approves of the Hyde Amendment: a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters recently, “The president opposes the Hyde Amendment. That has not changed.”
However, Biden said he would sign congressional Democrats’ reconciliation bill with or without the Hyde Amendment, marking the latest shift in the president’s position on the anti-abortion policy.
During his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden called for an end to the use of the Hyde Amendment. However, back when Biden was still senator, he repeatedly voted in favor of the Hyde Amendment, characterizing his support for the policy as consistent with a pro-abortion rights position.
Once, he also said the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision, which made abortion legal nationwide, went “too far.” It may be remembered that Biden toed the controversial conversations on abortion because of his Catholic faith.
In the 1990s, exceptions to the Hyde Amendment were added for cases involving rape, incest, or a risk to the life of a mother. Planned Parenthood Action Fund calls the Hyde Amendment “particularly harmful to people with low incomes, people of color, young people and immigrants.”
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On their website, the organization says, “For far too long, the United States has penalized low-income people seeking abortion — forcing those already struggling to make ends meet to pay the biggest proportion of her income for safe, legal care.”
The amendment is not permanent law and must be attached to individual appropriations bills each year in order to take effect. Supporters of the amendment argue it “protects the conscience rights of anti-abortion taxpayers who don’t want to contribute to the funding of abortion procedures”, while opponents argue the amendment blocks low-income women from a legal procedure.
“Pro-abortion Democrats in Congress are radically out of touch with the majority of Americans, who oppose using tax dollars to fund abortion on demand up to birth.” Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications at Susan B.
Anthony List told the Washington Examiner. “Pro-abortion Democrats’ agenda hurts vulnerable women and their unborn children and is a major political liability.”