For more than four decades, the Hyde amendment, an annual budget rider, has prohibited federal Medicaid funding of abortion except in rare circumstances. For most of that time, Joe Biden supported the Hyde amendment. “The government should not tell those with strong convictions against abortion, such as you and I, that we must pay for them,” Biden wrote to a constituent in 1994. Biden finally decided to support Medicaid funding of abortion in June 2019 because of pressure from Democratic rivals and progressive activists during the presidential primary.
Protecting the conscience rights of pro-life Americans is a good reason to support the Hyde amendment, but the main reason why it has been America’s most important pro-life public policy is that it has saved more human lives from being destroyed by abortion than any other policy.
When the government subsidizes abortion, the result is more abortions, as simple logic and multiple studies tell us. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, “the best research indicates that the Hyde Amendment has saved over two million unborn children” since the policy was first enacted in 1976. According to one study by the Guttmacher Institute, when states use their own tax dollars to fund abortions for Medicaid recipients, the abortion rate among women on Medicaid was nearly four times the abortion rate among women who are not on Medicaid. In states that do not fund abortion, the abortion rate among women on Medicaid was 1.6 times the rate among women not on Medicaid.
Put plainly, federal funding of abortion is an evil policy. It’s an evil policy because it would cause the destruction of tens of thousands of innocent human lives each year. It’s an evil policy because it treats abortion as a public good and compels millions of pro-life Americans to fund abortions. And it’s an evil policy because it is also a eugenic policy.
The late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once acknowledged a top rationale for supporting
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