Initiative Summary Jan 23, 2018

ERLC Supports Aderholt Detainee Abortion Funding Ban Amendment

Southern Baptists strongly affirm the sanctity of human life, at every stage of life. The Baptist Faith and Message (2000), based on Ps. 127:3, affirms “children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Furthermore, Scripture identifies man and woman as the “crowning work” of God’s creation; any devaluing or destructive work of human life is, therefore, offensive to God.

Abortion is a murderous procedure that ends the life of voiceless, innocent children. In 2015, the Southern Baptist Convention recognized legalized abortion as a “genocide” and called upon public officials and elected leaders to enact laws that defend the lives of the unborn. At least 20 weeks after conception, children in the womb are able to react and recoil to the pain that an abortion procedure would inflict. Government officials should take every legislative action to protect and preserve the right to life of the unborn.

The Hyde Amendment protects the lives of unborn children from arbitrary abortion procedures. Except in the cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger, the Hyde Amendment prohibits the federal government from funding any and all abortion services. Over its 41-year history, the Hyde Amendment has saved over 2 million lives, but attempts are still being made to subvert its restrictions.

The Aderholt Detainee Abortion Funding Ban Amendment closes a loophole in the Hyde Amendment. In May of 2012, it was discovered that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was providing abortion services to undocumented immigrants in detention centers, despite the regulations within the Hyde Amendment. The Aderholt Amendment was then proposed to directly apply the Hyde Amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, and prevent the government from providing abortion services to detained immigrants. Additionally, the Aderholt Amendment would protect the consciences of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees who may choose not to facilitate or perform abortions.

The passage of the Aderholt Amendment would protect the lives of countless unborn babies. Passing the Amendment as a provision within the DHS Appropriations Act will ensure that not one taxpayer dollar is spent funding abortions. The Amendment would additionally safeguard the freedoms of conscience and religious expression for ICE employees who are morally or religiously opposed to abortion and wish to not partake in its performance or facilitation.

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