Yup, I almost missed it too.
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.