Life  Support Pro-Life Appropriations Riders  Policy Brief  Abortion

ERLC Supports Pro-Life Appropriations Riders

congressional appropriations

Southern Baptists affirm that every life is worthy of protection, beginning with the preborn. We believe life begins at conception and that abortion denies precious human lives both personhood and protection (Jer. 1:5; Psa. 139:13). 

Southern Baptists affirm that every human is created in the image of God. As stated in a 2022 resolution of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Bible clearly and unequivocally affirms “the preborn child is a person, bearing the image of God, from the moment of conception” (Gen. 1:27; 9:6), regardless of age, level of ability, or stage of development. This is a truth to which Christians in every century have testified and are called to bear witness in every age and in every sphere of life. Furthermore, in a 2021 resolution, Southern Baptists called on “Congress and the President to uphold the Hyde Amendment and all pro-life Amendments, to protect life, and to prevent taxpayers from being complicit in the moral evil of abortion.”

In past years, the Hyde Amendment has been excluded from proposed appropriations bills and treated as a negotiation tool. The Hyde Amendment is a budget rider on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations bill to prevent Medicaid from covering the cost of abortion. In Fiscal Year 2024 negotiations, the ERLC was glad to see that this amendment and other pro-life amendments were included in both the proposed House and Senate appropriations bills. Building upon this, our desire is to see these riders eventually codified into federal statute through legislation like the Conscience Protection Act and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which ensures these vital pro-life provisions are no longer treated like one piece in the appropriations negotiations process.

Final budget packages have also historically included other important pro-life riders, including Weldon (discrimination protections for healthcare entities with objections to abortion), Dornan (Hyde protections in the District of Columbia), Helms (protection against international aid funds being used for abortion), Siljander (protection against funds being used to lobby for abortion internationally), and Kamp-Kasten (protection against funds to organizations that support coercive abortion or sterilization).

Pro-life riders are essential in protecting life as well as the consciences of millions of American taxpayers. Before the Hyde Amendment was introduced, approximately 300,000 abortions per year were performed using federal Medicaid dollars. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has been passed by every Congress, saving over 2 million lives. Other pro-life riders have proved crucial for defending the conscience rights of medical professionals and healthcare providers who seek to value and protect life.

The ERLC rejects any attempts to weaken or remove these amendments and will always advocate against any government funding of abortions. It is vital that Congress maintains the Hyde family of riders that protect life as well as the consciences of millions of Americans.

congressional appropriations

Related Content

ERLC Comments in Support of The Adoptee Citizenship Act

ERLC comments appear in the press release below by Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) highlighting...

Read More

A Letter to Support Designating Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern

ERLC joined a coalition of nonprofits and charitable organizations to send a letter of support to to the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

On June 4, 2024, we joined a coalition of organizations to send a letter...

Read More
born alive act

ERLC urges U.S. Senate to Oppose Right to Contraception Act

POLICY STATEMENT: Nashville, Tenn. —The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is urging the Senate...

Read More

A Letter in Support of Regulating the IVF Industry

Letter sent to the United States Senate on May 23, 2024

From the moment of conception, every child is a gift from God, inherently valuable,...

Read More

Joined partners in sending a letter sharing our support for the Eyes on the Board Act

With many children gaining unsupervised access to the internet at younger and younger ages,...

Read More

Public Comments Submitted to Support Adoption and Foster Care Policies

One alarming trend at the intersection of religious liberty and child welfare has been...

Read More