When the Hyde amendment turned 44 on Wednesday, it wasn't just that birthday pro-lifers were celebrating. It was the birthdays of over two million people who are alive today because one Illinois congressman had the courage to stand up and say, "Enough." Abortion isn't just destroying a defenseless little baby, an emotional Henry Hyde insisted, but "the moral foundation of our democracy." And the last thing any civilized society should be doing is paying for it. "We risk our souls," he warned. "We risk our humanity."
Henry Hyde didn't live long enough to see the consensus he built against taxpayer-funded abortion crumble. For a good four decades, the Democratic Party seemed to agree with the compromise that as long as abortion is legal, Americans shouldn't be forced to finance it. But this week, as we blow out the candles on almost a half-century of life-saving legislation, liberals are hard at work, trying to snuff future lives out. Starting with the Democratic platform and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the Left is on the march to destroy the Hyde Amendment -- and put Americans back on the hook for the killing culture Hyde despised. And only this election can stop them.
"The Hyde amendment is on the ballot," Dr. Michael New warned. "At one point, you had a lot of Democrats [including Joe Biden] who thought abortion should be legal but not paid for with federal taxpayer dollars. That's no longer the case." More than 180 House Democrats are on record saying they'll destroy the amendment if they get a chance. If that happens, Dr. New shakes his head, as many as 60,000 innocent lives are on the line every single year. "On this issue," he points out, "pro-life, pro-choice researchers, everybody agrees. You fund abortions with taxpayer dollars, and abortion rates go up. And my calculations show that if you get rid of the Hyde amendment, you'll see about 60,000 more abortions every year."
On the flip side, New explained, if you put limits on abortion funding -- like America has done for 44 years -- abortion rates go down. Lives are saved. It stands to reason, and we've seen it in other areas as well, that if the government agrees to pay for something, there will be more of it. On that, Michael points out, there's broad agreement, even from liberal research centers like Guttmacher. One of their studies, National Review noticed, found that "in states that use their own tax dollars to pay for abortions undergone by Medicaid recipients, the abortion rate among Medicaid recipients is 3.9 times the rate among nonrecipients." (Find out your state's policy on FRC's pro-life map.)
Meanwhile, some mainstream news outlets have tried to caution, the Left's push to topple the wall between taxpayers and the abortion industry may not be as popular as they think. Turns out, even some Democrats have very serious reservations about opening their wallets to a practice that most of the country still considers "morally wrong." Late last year, liberal-leaning Slate dedicated a whole column to pointing out how misguided Joe Biden's flip-flop on the issue is. And they weren't the only ones. On the core question of abortion, William Saletan agrees, Americans agree with the Democratic Party. "But on the question of direct payments, most voters agree with the GOP. If Democrats make that question a litmus test, they'll regret it."
And so will the 60,000 innocent people whose lives are at stake if liberals regain control of the White House or Congress. Sixty-thousand people. That's more than the population of Charlottesville, Virginia -- wiped out, every year, because extremists in one party can't see what so many of their predecessors did: that abortion is an unspeakable act. And incentivizing it isn't just un-American. It's inhuman.
To see the two parties' radically different platforms for yourself, click here.