A major pro-life group is criticizing President Biden for signing the COVID-19 relief package, alleging he betrayed his pledge for unity by supporting a bill that includes a “massive” expansion of tax-funded abortion.
The $1.9 trillion bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, includes money for stimulus checks, unemployment assistance and aid to states, among other things.
But it also includes money that will be used for abortion, according to the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, which lambasted the bill for not including Hyde Amendment-type language prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortion.
“Once an ardent supporter of the Hyde Amendment, today Biden’s transformation is complete,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “He has fully caved to extremists in his party, signing a massive expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion. Not only is this inconsistent with prior Covid-19 relief packages, but it breaks four decades of bipartisan consensus – betraying Biden’s promise to unite the country.”
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision dating to the 1970s that prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions. It has been supported by every Republican and Democratic president since then, including Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama. Biden supported the Hyde Amendment as a senator and vice president but now opposes it.
An amendment that would have added Hyde-type language to the bill was defeated in Congress. U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said previous Covid relief bills passed in the last year included such an amendment.
“Congress has passed five bipartisan bills in the past 12 months related to the Covid-19 pandemic that target relief to those who need it most,” Lankford said. “All five bills had the normal language that prevents the use of taxpayers’ dollars to pay for abortions. But, now Democrats have determined that this partisan Covid bill should direct American tax dollars to abortions.”
The Susan B. Anthony List says the American Rescue Plan will:
- “Create a slush fund for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.
- “Fund community health care centers without applying the Hyde Amendment.
- “Expand taxpayer-funded abortion coverage via Obamacare and COBRA insurance plans subsidies.
- “Increase funding for abortion through global health activities.”
“The Hyde Amendment has saved more than 2.4 million lives – no wonder it is popular,” Dannenfelser said. “... Keeping taxpayers out of the abortion business is still very much a bipartisan issue. Democrats who’ve exploited the pandemic to bail out the abortion industry ignore this reality at their political peril. Susan B. Anthony List will work relentlessly to educate voters and ensure the voice of the pro-life movement is heard at the ballot box.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.