Life  Expand Hyde Protections to Prohibit Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Travel  Policy Brief  Abortion

ERLC Supports the Expansion of Hyde Protections to Prohibit Taxpayer-Funded Abortion

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

Southern Baptists affirm that every person 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, the Convention’s Baptist Faith & Message 2000 affirms that “children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord” and calls us to “speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.”

Pro-life riders are essential in protecting life and ensuring the consciences of millions of American taxpayers are not violated by a misuse of federal funds. 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 an estimated 2 million lives.

In past years, the Hyde family of riders have been an important part of life protections in federal law. 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 similar amendments were included in many of the House and Senate proposed appropriations bills.

Recent actions by the Biden administration have circumvented these longstanding pro-life protections. Following the Dobbs decision, the administration has used taxpayer funding to pay for abortion travel, leave, and related expenses, violating the spirit of these riders.The ERLC supports an expansion of these riders to apply to all abortion-related funding in every appropriations bill passed by Congress. Through including expanded protections in all appropriations bills, Congress can ensure protections for preborn lives, protect the consciences of millions of Americans, and prevent the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

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