Monday, September 13, 2021

Secular Pro-Life Urges Federal Legislators to Preserve Life-Saving Hyde Amendment

Secular Pro-Life proudly joined a coalition of 60 pro-life organizations, led by the Susan B. Anthony List, calling on lawmakers to protect the Hyde Amendment and related pro-life budget riders. In a September 7 letter, we urged members of Congress to oppose any budget legislation — be it a regular appropriations bill or reconciliation spending — which funds elective abortions. The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives wants taxpayer subsidies for the abortion industry. The safety of countless unborn children depends upon Senators voting down that extreme proposal.

This is a matter of life and death, as the letter explains:

This Hyde family of pro-life riders together act as a bulwark against federal entanglement with and expansion of abortion. The original Hyde Amendment alone has saved nearly 2.5 million lives. This translates to roughly one in nine children born on Medicaid owing their life to Henry Hyde's amendment enacted in 1976. This longstanding policy has strong support from the American people. Polling consistently shows that a majority of Americans disapprove of their tax dollars being used to pay for abortion, including a third of self-identified pro-choice Americans.

If we may take this opportunity to toot our own horn, Secular Pro-Life played a key role in publicizing those statistics. Prior to 2016, low-income children and young adults whose lives were saved by the Hyde Amendment were rarely even acknowledged, let alone centered in the conversation like they are today. Instead, "taxpayer conscience" was the dominant pro-life talking point. That's largely because well-organized data on the life-saving impact of the Hyde Amendment was hard to come by. 

Person with sign: "The Hyde Amendment saves lives"
But when the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment approached in September of 2016, we saw an opportunity to shift the narrative. Since most of the large, national anti-abortion groups were occupied with electoral politics that fall, Secular Pro-Life took the lead on the Hyde anniversary celebration. And thanks to a partnership with Dr. New at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, we were able to calculate the lives saved and put a face to the issue. We packaged the work in such a way that other pro-life organizations could easily pick up and amplify the message, and we're thrilled that that's exactly what happened. 

Today, with the Hyde Amendment in pro-abortion legislators' crosshairs, that message is more important than ever. If all we had to go on was "taxpayer conscience," I truly believe the Hyde Amendment would be doomed. Thanks to groundwork we laid five years ago, approximately 60,000 babies a year still have a fighting chance to be born.

Much of our work follows this pattern: it is behind the scenes, with no demand for credit, and yields results on a long time horizon. We aren't all that flashy (spicy memes aside). That can sometimes make fundraising tricky, but it's necessary work and we love to do it. If you wish to support us with a donation, we would greatly appreciate it!

[Photo credit: Rehumanize International]

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