If the final supply bill excludes the Hyde Amendment, it would be the first time in decades that the federal budget has allowed funding for abortion in Medicaid.
The expense bills presented to the US Senate last week would force employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion and would not include long-standing protections for conscience rights, the US Bishops’ Conference warned on Friday.
“The bills released by the President of the Senate Appropriations this week represent a radical departure from the will of the American people and the principle of justice for all,” said a statement released Friday, October 22 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and archbishop. Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.
Cardinal Dolan heads the American Bishops’ Religious Freedom Committee, while Archbishop Nauman is the chair of the conference’s pro-life committee.
“By proposing to remove the Hyde and Weldon Amendments, among other long-standing bipartisan pro-life provisions, the Senate is taking an extreme position of forcing taxpayers to pay for the deaths of unborn innocent humans and forcing health care providers to participate in this injustice, ”they said.
The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal dollars to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. The Weldon Amendment prohibits federal agencies, programs, state governments, and local governments from receiving federal money if they discriminate against healthcare entities that do not provide, pay, cover, or do not refer for abortions.
Each of these amendments is generally included each year in the appropriation bills that distribute the funding of the Department of Health and Social Services. None of these policies are included in this year’s supply bill, which was released on Tuesday, October 19.
While the bills contain “many vital provisions that help vulnerable people, including pregnant mothers, refugees, low-income families and the elderly,” Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Naumann said this level of concern “must also extend to our vulnerable brethren. and sisters in the womb.
“We reiterate that funding the destruction of innocent unborn human lives and forcing people to participate are serious human rights violations,” they said. “We call on the Senate to prevent this injustice by passing supply bills that fully support and protect human dignity and the most vulnerable among us. ”
In July, the House passed supply bills without including the Hyde and Weldon amendments. If the final supply bill excludes the Hyde Amendment, it would be the first time in decades that the federal budget has allowed funding for abortion in Medicaid.