With all the COVID hype, you probably missed…

…the vote to kill the Hyde Amendment.

Yup, I almost missed it too.

From https://www.chausa.org/about/about/facts-statistics

Since 1973, every funding bill has contained the Hyde Amendment, which banned the use of taxpayer funding for abortions, except in a few key areas. Like most things on social media, most people haven’t actually read the amendment, so I’ve copied it here:

Sec. 506. (a) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for any abortion.

(b) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.

(c) The term “health benefits coverage” means the package of services covered by a managed care provider or organization pursuant to a contract or other arrangement.

Hyde Amendment

Sec. 507. (a) The limitations established in the preceding section shall not apply to an abortion—

(1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or


(2) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.

(b) Nothing in the preceding section shall be construed as prohibiting the expenditure by a State, locality, entity, or private person of State, local, or private funds (other than a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds).

(c) Nothing in the preceding section shall be construed as restricting the ability of any managed care provider from offering abortion coverage or the ability of a State or locality to contract separately with such a provider for such coverage with State funds (other than a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds).

(d) (1) None of the funds made available in this Act may be made available to a Federal agency or program, or to a State or local government, if such agency, program, or government subjects any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

(2) In this subsection, the term “health care entity” includes an individual physician or other health care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan.

Hyde Amendment

The Hyde Amendment is estimated to have stopped approximately 300,000 abortions a year. Given that abortion in the U.S. is likely responsible for a 10% decrease in population (calculated by comparing states that have and have not legalized abortion), repealing the Hyde Amendment will likely increase this to 12-13%. Sadly, black Americans are the hardest hit by abortions. Estimates vary, but somewhere around 40% of black pregnancies are terminated through abortion. That’s a staggering number when you think that every year, around half a million black babies are simply executed.

To put that in perspective, in 2016 there were approximately 17,000 murders in the entire U.S. Even with the jump in 2020, these numbers still don’t compare to abortion losses for just black Americans. When you lump in everyone else, we’re close to 1 million.

The good news is that abortion has been on the decline. After hitting a high in 1990, its been falling ever since, although its hard to tell because some states, including California, don’t report numbers to the CDC. This fall is attributed to everything from better education to better access to birth control. So if its declining, why expand funding? Why bother doing this when anyone that wants an abortion can easily get one?

Since its politics, I’m going to answer: money and power. Funding abortion through tax dollars gives places like Planned Parenthood a cash cow to milk. Just like transgender therapy, when the government pays for it, even if they don’t pay very well, you’re guaranteed a pay check. On the power side, given that there are over 600 Catholic hospitals in the U.S., repealing the Hyde Amendment forces them to either dump Medicare or go out of business. Given that these hospitals need Medicare to care for some of the poorest Americans, its a nasty way to pin these hospitals against the wall.

Should the Hyde Amendment go away, the first thing that will happen is a surge in lawsuits on any hospital that previously did not provide abortion service. After that, you’ll continue to see most abortions still performed at places like Planned Parenthood. Just like the bakery lawsuits, none of this will result in better service or better health, because its just a power and money grab, plain and simple.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

The Mind of Russia & China

Once Senator Milton Young of North Dakoda said to him: “You people of the South are much more militarily minded than in the North.” “Milt”, Russell replied, “you’d be militarily minded too if Sherman had crossed North Dakoda

Robert A Caro: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , Master of the Senate 2003 page 180

There is no denying that both China and Russia (but especially China) has been our primary enemy for decades. I had military men during the height of the Cold War tell me that China was in fact our primary problem, but as we deal with what they are doing and why we have to keep two things in mind.

We look at all of these things through an American lens, but for a moment consider this lens that the Russians and Chinese use.

In each of the last two centuries Russia has been invaded by the premier military power of the age, Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941, and these invaders pushed deep into the country Napoleon even taking Moscow.

Driving them out took millions of lives and tons of treasure. While most ordinary Russians didn’t have a lot of use for the communists they knew what is was to be invaded and what it meant. This trauma was the single most unifying force within a country for a government that was oppressing its own people and was used to the hilt and I’m not even dealing with the trauma of losing wars to Poland and Japan AND Germany (remember before the Communist revolution Russia had surrendered to Germany) early in the last century.

Now the Russian empire is gone, the Soviet Union is gone and historic parts of even the pre-soviet empire are gone but you better damn well believe that Russia has not forgotten these things and that when Putin acts to subdue and compromise Europe the Russian people have in the back of their minds the idea that everything that slows them down means that much less of a chance that they will have do deal with this cycle again.

China is a tad different, you had the great attempt to carve up China in the late 19th and early 20th century which subordinated China for the sake of trade to foreign powers is an annoyance but like other colonial enterprises brought both technology and as evidenced by Hong Kong advancement, but if you want to find something that unites ethnic Chinese, both Communist and anti-communist its the memory of World War 2 and their occupation by Japan.

American and British POW can testify to the cruelty of the Japanese toward them during World War 2 but that pales compared to what China suffered during that time. Japan moved without mercy against and who stood against them or were even just in the way. This cruelty is in living memory and the Communist Party having murdered tens of millions of their own people has every reason to highlight these acts by Japan to keep their mind off of what they have done and are doing themselves. (This incidentally is why China’s move to threaten Japan, while foolish, is good PR internally because while Japan fell and was occupied, China didn’t get the revenge they wanted and I suspect will not forgive us for rebuilding them into one of the greatest technological powers of all time. You only have to look at their reaction to Japanese victories at the Olympics to see that this hatred is alive and well.

The Best part for both Russia and China is that what they suffered was so horrible that they don’t have to exaggerate it to sell it to the people. They’ve heard the stories from parents and grandparents and don’t need to state to color it.

Does any of this excuse the actions of Putin or Xi? Nope, but if you’re going to check their ambitions to surpass and subordinate us it’s useful to know what makes them tick and one of the things that makes them do so is the determination that NOBODY is ever going to do what the French, Nazis and Japanese ever did to them again.

I think half the battle for us is to (correctly) assure the people of both of those nations that nothing is farther from our mind.