Yesterday Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her reasoning for repealing the Hyde Amendment:
A right without the opportunity to exercise it isn't a right. Low-income women deserve health care. The Hyde Amendment should be overturned.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 15, 2016
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision that has been in place since 1976. It restricts the use of federal funds for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or when carrying the baby to term would threaten the life of the mother (the original Hyde Amendment did not include exceptions for rape or incest — it was actually Hillary’s husband that added these exceptions in 1993).
Many Americans have made it clear that they do not want their tax dollars to be used to fund abortion. The Hyde Amendment has been used over the years to maintain this practice — a sort of compromise from the pro-abortion Democratic party. In recent years, pro-life Republicans have attempted to codify the Hyde Amendment into law, without success. When Barack Obama was trying to bolster public support for the Affordable Care Act, one of the primary issues raised by the pro-life movement was federal funding for abortion. Obama reassured voters that no federal dollars would be used for abortion — a promise that Republicans say he hasn’t kept. In 2014, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), in a speech on the House floor, stated:
[In 2009 Obama] told a joint session of Congress that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.”
On March 24, 2010, President Obama issued an executive order that said the Affordable Care Act “maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges.”
We now know that’s not true at all. The ACA does not extend Hyde Amendment restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges.
As my colleagues will recall, the Hyde Amendment has two parts. It prohibits direct funding for abortion and bans funding for any insurance coverage that includes abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
Under the Affordable Care Act, massive amounts of public funds in the form of tax credits – $796 billion in direct spending over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – will pay for insurance plans, many, perhaps most of which will include elective abortion. That massively violates the Hyde Amendment.
We have learned that every single Obamacare plan in Connecticut and Rhode Island includes abortion on demand.
In my own state of New Jersey, my staff and I have learned after a great deal of work that of the 31 plans offered in the state, at least 14 plans subsidize abortion on demand. Yet none of the plans make this information available to the consumer shopping online. This is the case in state after state.
To further understand how the ACA expands public funding for abortion, my colleagues don’t have to look any further than the DC Health Link—our own portal for health insurance. Of the 112 health insurance plans available to members of congress and staff only nine exclude elective abortion. 103 plans—over 90%–subsidize abortion on demand. About 75% of our insurance premiums are subsidized by the taxpayer so the taxpayer is clearly being compelled to subsidize elective abortions.
While Obama may have acted coy about his position on abortion during his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Hillary has made her pro-abortion platform a cornerstone of her campaign. It’s also worth noting that for the first time ever, Planned Parenthood (a 100-year-old organization) has endorsed a presidential candidate: Hillary Clinton. Now Hillary has made it quite clear that there are no red lines in her agenda. Not only will she seek to strengthen the relationship between the federal government and America’s largest abortion provider, but she will also ensure that there will be no barriers to paying for abortion with our tax dollars. Whether or not the voters agree with her stance remains to be seen.