House Democrats are one step closer to achieving President Joe Biden's goal of establishing taxpayer-funded abortions nationwide.
A funding bill proposal released Sunday from the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee would repeal the Hyde Amendment—a decades-long policy that prevents federal tax dollars from funding abortion. The White House proposed repealing the amendment in its budget introduced in May. Biden, who supported the Hyde Amendment as a senator, flipped to oppose the policy when running for president in 2019.
"Biden-Pelosi Democrats are scrapping decades of bipartisan consensus to force taxpayers to fund abortion, doubling down on extremism to appease an increasingly radical base," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said. "This bill is too extreme to pass the Senate and is a major political liability for pro-abortion Democrats."
The bill proposal includes additional pro-choice measures. It repeals the Weldon Amendment, which prevents federally funded institutions from discriminating against health care providers that refuse to provide abortions. The proposal helps restore grant programs funding reproductive health care providers, such as Planned Parenthood, by altering the Title X family planning program.
Critics of the Hyde Amendment argue that preventing taxpayer dollars from supplying abortion leaves poor and vulnerable Americans without essential care.
"For far too long, the racist and sexist Hyde Amendment has put the government in control of a personal health care decision for many people with low incomes," Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation, said. "Your zip code, financial situation, whether you're incarcerated, or the type of health insurance you have should never determine what kind of essential health care services you can access, including abortion."
Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.), the ranking member of the subcommittee, said during a Monday hearing that the proposal is too extreme.
"The first step toward that negotiation will be a full reinstatement of the Hyde Amendment," Cole said.
A January poll from the Knights of Columbus and Marist found that 58 percent of respondents oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, a fact often emphasized by pro-life leaders.
"For a party that claims to care about 'democracy,' Democrats don't seem to value what voters actually think," Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project, told the Washington Free Beacon. "Actions matter far more than rhetoric, and if Democrats continue to act as if the preferences of American voters don't matter, then they should expect to pay a price for it in the next election. That's how democracy works, after all."
The bill proposal continues efforts from House Democrats to lift restrictions on using tax dollars to supply abortions. The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee in June proposed repealing the Helms Amendment and Mexico City policy from its budget. The Helms Amendment prevents taxpayer funds from funding abortion through foreign aid. The Mexico City policy prevents taxpayer dollars from going to international organizations that are involved with abortion services.