Sen. Manchin: Repealing Hyde Amendment Would Be 'Foolish'

Posted: Jan 01, 2021 3:00 PM
Sen. Manchin: Repealing Hyde Amendment Would Be 'Foolish'

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Connecticut Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro, incoming chair of the House Appropriations Committee, has indicated that it's her duty to repeal the Hyde Amendment next term, a measure that for over 40 years has banned the taxpayer funding of abortions. It includes exceptions for when the life of the mother is in danger, and for cases of rape or incest.

“This is the last year,” DeLauro said of the amendment. “The time has come in this current moment to reckon with the norm, with the status quo.”

She called it a "discriminatory policy" that impacts economically struggling women who"are hostage to their geography" in states that deny abortion funding.

Thankfully not all Democrats agree. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) gave the pro-life community a hand on Wednesday when he came out against the repeal.

The Hyde Amendment became one of the many issues that then-candidate Joe Biden decided to flip flop on during the 2020 presidential election.

A 2016 Harvard study found that Americans opposed Medicaid funding of abortion by double digits. In fact the polling on this issue is so consistent that even Slate had to admit that progressives are losing this fight.

In every poll, a plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions. In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority. The questions vary, but the result is the same. Respondents support “banning federal funding for abortion” except in rape cases or to save the woman’s life (Politico/Morning Consult, 2019). They believe that “government health insurance programs for low-income women, like Medicaid,” should not “cover abortion” (PRRI, 2018). They oppose “using tax dollars to pay for a woman’s abortion” (Marist, 2019). They oppose allowing “Medicaid funds to be used to pay for abortions” (Politico/Harvard, 2016). When they’re told that “the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to fund abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or to save the life of the mother,” they endorse the amendment (YouGov, 2016). These polls aren’t close. The average gap between the pro-funding and anti-funding positions is 19 percentage points.

Democrats for Life groups across the nation thanked Manchin for his support.