We find ourselves in a tremendous moment during the struggle to end abortion. For the first time in decades, there is a nearly universal feeling of hope among pro-life advocates as states advance an unprecedented number of bills that protect women and unborn children. Their optimism is boosted by the prospect that these laws will face a Supreme Court that, for the first time in a long time, seems more favorable toward states’ legitimate interest in protecting innocent life.
We are happy to report we are seeing firsthand this hopeful sentiment across the country from the pro-life grassroots. That includes the hundreds of thousands of Marchers for Life and the vast ranks of pro-life canvassers with Susan B. Anthony List who help put pro-life candidates in office.
But this hope is rivaled by the desperation of those who, for decades, have promoted and profited from abortion on demand. The abortion industry’s two most powerful political allies in Washington, D.C., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, are so afraid to see life winning that they have focused their efforts on policies that force taxpayers to fund elective abortions and healthcare plans that pay for abortions.
Earlier this year, the Pelosi-led House passed appropriations bills that eliminated the long-standing Hyde Amendment and many other Hyde-like protections. While we are confident that less radical Democrats in the Senate want to keep at least some of these pro-life protections, the more radical wing of the party will stop at nothing to further prop up the billion-dollar abortion industry. They hope to do this through the budget reconciliation process, which could pass the Senate with only 50 pro-abortion votes. Such a vote would be a radical break with over 40 years of bipartisan pro-life policy.
Biden and Pelosi have made it clear that the reconciliation process will address “healthcare,” and today’s Democratic Party tragically defines taxpayer funding for abortion as a part of healthcare. Pro-abortion Democrats hope to create a public option on the Obamacare exchanges, along with codifying and further expanding the Obamacare premium tax credit — opening the door to further expansion of abortion funding.
To add to their extremism, Biden and Pelosi are known as Catholic politicians, yet both have proclaimed their absolute support for abortion on demand, which is incompatible with the faith they claim to profess. As two Catholic women leaders in Washington, we pray the public recognizes this contradiction.
The most nefarious part of the Democratic strategy on this issue is their attempt to include Sen. Raphael Warnock’s language that would create a brand new healthcare entitlement outside the reach of Hyde. It would take the place of the Medicaid program and be financed through direct appropriations of federal funds. This bill would bypass long-standing pro-life protections in current federal law as well as state law, to provide the equivalent of Medicaid coverage for states that have declined to expand Medicaid. This scheme would directly fund abortions on demand without co-pays or premiums, even in pro-life states that have intentionally excluded abortion funding in their health plans, and it could, in theory, pass even without a single pro-life vote.
As Americans, we are always laboring to become a better nation — slaves were freed at last, women were enfranchised, civil rights and voting rights protections were guaranteed. But we have a lot of improvements yet to make. Roe v. Wade and its legal progeny continue to plague our nation, claiming over 60 million innocent lives since 1973.
Sadly, we cannot repair all of the damage that Roe v. Wade has done to our people and culture. But if we lose Hyde protections that are responsible for saving nearly 2.5 million lives so far, every state in our nation will be forced to fund abortion on demand with its own tax dollars, leading to the deaths of countless innocent unborn children. That will include up to 35 states that currently exercise their right not to do so.
People who wish to build a better nation have a duty to take up the fight for life and freedom. We must start by preventing desperate Democratic leaders’ efforts to make abortion a standard “service” paid for by the U.S. government. A better future for our nation and our people is at stake.
Jeanne Mancini is president of March for Life, and Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of Susan B. Anthony List.
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