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Friday, July 10, 2015

Hyde Amendment repeal effort spits in the faces of 1,147,000 young Americans

Photo taken at last January's March for Life in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, abortion advocates introduced a bill to pay for elective abortions with federal taxpayer funds.

The bill "targets the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 provision that blocks federal money from going to pay for abortions, with exceptions for cases of rape or incest or when a pregnant woman's life is in danger. Hyde Amendment language is frequently included on spending legislation and is attached to the annual bill paying for Medicaid."

According to a 2010 statement from the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, the Hyde Amendment has prevented over a million abortions. Five years have passed since that statement, making the current estimate 1,147,000. In their words, "more than a million women have been denied the ability to make their own decisions." In English, approximately 1,147,000 Americans are alive today who would be dead if not for the Hyde Amendment. That's one out of every 280 Americans, roughly a third of a percent of the U.S. population.*

Proposing legislation that essentially tells one out of every 280 Americans that you wish they were dead is not normally a smart political move, particularly in the year before a presidential election. But they think they can get away with it because of the demographics of that third of a percent: all are under the age of 40, a significant number of them are too young to vote, and by definition, all were born into economically disadvantaged households.

All of those factors suggest a population that has limited political power, certainly far more limited than that of the abortion industry. Compare that to the demographics of the 70 co-sponsors of the Hyde Amendment repeal bill: their average age is 61 and their average net worth is $4.3 million.** Only three were conceived after the Hyde Amendment was first passed in 1976. (The Cognitive Dissonance Awards go to Ruben Gallego of Arizona, Joseph P. Kennedy, III of Massachusetts, and Eric Swalwell of California.)

The bill to repeal the Hyde Amendment will never make it past the pro-life House of Representatives. In fact, the House already passed a polar-opposite bill that would make the Hyde Amendment permanent (instead of an annual rider). The primary purpose of the anti-Hyde bill, from my vantage point, is to provide pro-abortion organizations with a nice talking point for fundraising. Their donors are getting discouraged by right-to-life gains and love the idea of "being on the offensive," a common theme in the media coverage.

Still, it's important for us to note their strategy. A project that spits in the face of 1,147,000 young people is pretty brazen.

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* Another way to think about this is to imagine that one of your facebook friends was killed; the average facebook user has 245 friends.

** Here is the data for those who wish to check my math. Ages are taken from Wikipedia and net worth figures are taken from the Center for Responsive Politics as of 2013:

Alma Adams, 69 years old, net worth unknown (listed as $0)
Karen Bass, 61 years old, net worth $348,003
Donald Beyer, Jr., 65 years old, net worth $50,000,000
Earl Blumenauer, 66 years old, net worth $6,828,015 
Suzanne Bonamici, 60 years old, net worth $4,603,520
Corrine Brown, 68 years old, net worth $3,501
Julia Brownley, 62 years old, net worth $1,788,517
Michael Capuano, 63 years old, net worth $1,744,519
Tony Cardenas, 52 years old, net worth $221,006 
Kathy Castor, 48 years old, net worth $3,549,023
Steve Cohen, 66 years old, net worth $4,154,053
John Conyers, 86 years old, net worth -$187,501
Judy Chu, 62 years old, net worth $3,111,021
Katherine Clark, 51 years old, net worth $6,828,006
Yvette Clarke, 50 years old, net worth $115,502
Bonnie Watson Coleman, 70 years old, net worth appx. $1,000,000
Gerald Connolly, 65 years old, net worth $2,211,023
Elijah Cummings, 64 years old, net worth $902,505
Diana DeGette, 57 years old, net worth $2,199,017
Rosa DeLauro, 72 years old, net worth $15,492,505
Mark DeSaulnier, 63 years old, net worth appx. $250,000
Theodore Deutch, 49 years old, net worth $871,018
Donna Edwards, 57 years old, net worth $56,504
Keith Ellison, 51 years old, net worth $25,503
Eliot Engel, 58 years old, net worth $64,503
Sam Farr, 74 years old, net worth $2,900,517
Lois Frankel, 67 years old, net worth $2,537,139
Marcia Fudge, 62 years old, net worth $1,023,006
Ruben Gallego, 35 years old, net worth appx. $800,000
Michelle Lujan Grisham, 55 years old, net worth $435,001
Raul Grijalva, 67 years old, net worth $235,011
Luis Gutierrez, 61 years old, net worth $1,690,012
Michael Honda, 74 years old, net worth $964,005
Steve Israel, 57 years old, net worth -$75,001
Eddie Bernice Johnson, 79 years old, net worth $8,501
Henry "Hank" Johnson, Jr., 60 years old, net worth $8,001
Robin Kelly, 59 years old, net worth $123,502
Joseph P. Kennedy, III, 34 years old, net worth $46,201,618 
Derek Kilmer, 41 years old, net worth $522,518
Brenda Lawrence, 60 years old, net worth appx. $500,000
Sheila Jackson Lee, 65 years old, net worth $1,238,508
Ted Lieu, 46 years old, net worth appx. $500,000
Nita Lowey, 78 years old, net worth $31,965,012
Carolyn Maloney, 69 years old, net worth $22,162,009
Betty McCollum, 60 years old, net worth $137,006
Jim McDermott, 78 years old, net worth $829,829
Gwen Moore, 64 years old, net worth unknown (listed as $0)
Jerrold Nadler, 68 years old, net worth $28,001
Donald Norcross, 56 years old, net worth $365,004
Eleanor Norton, 78 years old, net worth $1,996,521
Beto O'Rourke, 42 years old, net worth $7,910,546
Frank Pallone, Jr., 63 years old, net worth $4,081,580
Chellie Pingree, 60 years old, net worth $39,960,546
Mark Pocan, 50 years old, net worth -$65,001
David Price, 74 years old, net worth $3,202,041
Mike Quigley, 56 years old, net worth -$65,001
Charles Rangel, 85 years old, net worth $1,741,510
Tim Ryan, 41 years old, net worth $199,503
Linda Sanchez, 46 years old, net worth $248,011
Adam Schiff, 55 years old, net worth $1,003,014
Jose Serrano, 71 years old, net worth $75,001
Jan Shakowsky, 71 years old, net worth $241,011
Louise Slaughter, 85 years old, net worth $3,121,511
Jackie Speier, 65 years old, net worth $10,339,537
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 48 years old, net worth $138,009
Eric Swalwell, 34 years old, net worth -$26,499
Paul Tonko, 66 years old, net worth unknown (listed as $0)
Chris Van Hollen, 56 years old, net worth $114,003
Peter Welch, 68 years old, net worth $5,686,554
Frederica Wilson, 72 years old, net worth $954,006

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