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AG Derek Schmidt backs keeping Hyde Amendment in effect to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions

Release Date: Jun 22, 2021

TOPEKA – (June 22, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and 21 other state attorneys general wrote to congressional leaders yesterday, urging Congress to maintain the Hyde Amendment in the 2022 budget to prohibit the use of federal taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.

The Hyde Amendment long has received wide, bipartisan support, but President Biden omitted it from the $6 trillion budget he submitted to Congress. The omission was a reversal of the president’s previous support for the amendment dating to his years of service in the Senate where he supported the Hyde Amendment on no fewer than 50 occasions.

“Nearly sixty percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including ‘a majority of independents,’ and even ‘a notable proportion of Democrats,’” the attorneys general wrote. “Seeking the Democratic nomination for president, candidate Biden again affirmed his support for the Hyde Amendment. But then—forty-eight hours later—he reversed himself and denounced the Hyde Amendment."

In their letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the attorneys general called on Congress to resist the president’s efforts to force taxpayers who object to abortions to pay for them.

“The Hyde Amendment was first enacted in 1976 following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, and has been reenacted every year since with broad bipartisan support,” the attorneys general wrote. “The key to the Hyde Amendment’s four-and-a-half-decades longevity is that its purpose is clear and commonsensical: it prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions (with exceptions), on the basis that a great many taxpayers object to abortion on moral or religious grounds and, therefore, it is unconscionable to force them to pay for abortions by using their tax dollars for that purpose. Congress should resist following President Biden down this path and should instead maintain the Hyde Amendment language in the budget it ultimately passes.”

A copy of the letter to congressional leaders can be found at https://bit.ly/35J63Bf.

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